from area resident Lisa Parsley
Reproduced with permission
any request for demolition by Toll Brothers of the fire-damaged
Naval Asylum on Grays Ferry Ave., Philadelphia.
are working to publicize the unique historical attributes of the
site that would be lost if the the structures were demolished. Please
see photos, below.
do not oppose the redevelopment of the property, as reported in
the press, provided that Toll Brothers follow the guidelines that
it agreed to that regulate historic structures in Philadelphia or
else sell the property to someone who will make minimal efforts
feel the stone structure is still in good shape as are the outbuildings.
Structures in much worse condition with less historic importance
have been preserved for commercial purposes. We are confident that
Toll Brothers is ready to enter this mature phase of its own growth.
Note this architectural drawing and notes about the building's construction,
using cast iron columns for fire resistance:
see these striking images from our proud past, attached and below:
from history: Military and Civilian Medicine and Nursing in relation
to the Naval Asylum:
the photo album of J. Beatrice Bowman, of the Sacred Twenty, or
the first official Naval Nurses. From a tour of duty at the Phildadelphia
Mic. Boland, US Naval Hospital:
the men under the gazebo. This gazebo is still standing strong:
Bowman on the veranda, 1911:
in front of Greek Revival front, with Naval cannon:
to Naval Home, Out buildings, Naval Officers, 1913:
1911, the twenty original Navy nurses had grown to 86, and sub-specialties
evolved in an effort to create efficiency, such as "operating
room technic, dietetics, and x-ray technic" according to Captain
Doris M. Sterner NC, USN, "In and Out of Harm's Way: A History
of the Navy Nurse Corps."
efforts saved countless lives and modernized the delivery of medicine.
Military requirements of coping with high volume, limited resources,
and rapidly advancing science created a health system that would
become a recognizably modern hospital. These early efforts that
shaped our nation at peace and at war.
Naval Asylums and hospitals were critical in coping with the influenza
epidemic and WWI. This ramp-up occured in a few short decades, and
not a moment too soon.
Note: Additional photos are available at the Library of Congress
American Memory website, http://memory.loc.gov/
-- enter the search term U.S. Naval Asylum Philadelphia