It’s been a long process for Mt. Sinai. The former hospital was shuttered 19 years ago and since then, plans have shifted to various forms of redevelopment before to landing on the current plans for the site at 4th and Reed.
As the building is reaching end-stages of demolition, the plans for the 95 townhomes to be built on the site of this long-standing structure lingers. The changes happening here show “the vulnerability of broad-shouldered architecture to real estate development on the quick.”
More from Hidden City:
The hospital, and its founding organizations Beth Israel Hospital Association, Franklin Free Dispensary, and the Mount Sinai Hospital Association, was originally established to provide healthcare for the underserved low income Jewish population in South Philadelphia at the turn of the 20th century. (Read our 2012 story on the history of Mt. Sinai HERE) Construction of the main building was completed in 1905 on the site of a former lumberyard. Over the next decade the hospital would see two new buildings—a 146 foot tall addition to the main building and a small outpatient center, both designed by Magaziner. The hospital continued to prosper after it merged with local Jewish healthcare systems Northern Liberties Hospital and the Jewish Hospital for the Aged, Infirmed and Destitute (precursor to Einstein Medical Center) in the 1950s. Several new additions were constructed in the 1980s. With Mt. Sinai hemorrhaging money, the Graduate Health System purchased the facility in 1988. Unable to financially sustain an emergency room and other key services, the facility was sold again, this time to Allegheny Health System, in 1996. Mt. Sinai Hospital closed for good the following year.
This story from Hidden City continues on to talk about the seven different times this location has gone under development contract. Instead of reusing some of the structure, the decision to demolish the entire thing shows the “erosion of South Philadelphia’s fading Jewish history and an off-kilter housing market that values low density over high.” You can read the rest of their article here.