Friends Hospital

Address: 4641 E Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19124

Neighborhood: Northwood

Website: friendshospital.com

Contact: Toll-Free Phone: 800-889-0548

Local Phone: 215-831-4600

Description: Friends Hospital opened in 1817 as the first private, nonprofit hospital in the United States devoted exclusively to treating mentally ill patients. The social and medical concerns of Quakers regarding psychiatric problems influenced the physical site plan and the methodology of treatment for “such of our members who may be deprived of the use of their reason.” These approaches became the model for similar facilities in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The hospital’s design, based on William Tuke’s York Retreat in England, but with better ventilation and light as suggested by Philadelphia Friend Thomas Scattergood, also became a model for other American mental facilities.

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Subthemes

  • First in the nation – Philadelphia’s “firsts”
  • Changemakers – social reform, racial justice, political movements
  • Faith and ideals – religion, philosophy,  political ideology

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