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The Boothroyd and Goodyear families of West Philadelphia’s West End sent their children into West End Mill, a producer of cotton fabrics and some woolens, in the decades around the turn of the 20th Century.

Two generations of Boothroyd and Goodyear children attended the West End elementary school at 60th and Cedar. West End School No. 2, which opened in 1903, supplemented an older school building next to the site. Archival photos suggest that the two buildings were joined in 1913, the year the school was enlarged and renamed William Cullen Bryant School.

Fully restored and operational, Woodside Park’s Dentzel Carousel is housed today in Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum, in Fairmount Park’s Memorial Hall. This photo shows the hand-crafted beauty of the carousel’s lead horse figure.

PGH’s closing in 1977 unleashed a bidding war for the leveled site that was eventually won by a consortium that included Penn, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Children’s Seashore House, and the Veteran’s Administration. The consortium, called the PGH Development Corporation, built the Philadelphia Center for Healthcare Sciences, a complex of seven new buildings on the former PGH property.

In the first half of the twentieth century, the Blockley Almshouse farmed out its almshouse services and its “lunatic asylum” and recast itself as the Philadelphia General Hospital, whose clinical services significantly improve after the Second World War.

Health issues that would plague generations of African Americans in northern cities in the twentieth century, including patients treated by the Philadelphia General Hospital in the three decades after the Second World War, can be traced to cities’ discriminatory health and employment policies and practices, which found support in the writings of anti-black race-writers.

In 1872, the University of Pennsylvania relocated its small campus from the central City to Blockley Almshouse property that the City deeded to the University. 

In 1834, Philadelphia relocated its almshouse (poorhouse) to Blockley Township in West Philadelphia, to a hilltop environ above the Schuylkill River; by 1854 the site included a swath of new buildings for indigent housing, workshops, and hospital facilities, including an insane asylum.  

From 1834 to 1977, Philadelphia maintained its public hospital on the west bank of the Schuylkill River. The facility evolved from being a multipurpose almshouse to its single role as a full-service hospital.

Bushfire Theater for the Performing Arts, 52nd and Locust streets

Private Redevelopment in Mantua

In 2014, President Barack Obama designated Mantua and several other poor neighborhoods north of Market Street as the West Philadelphia Promise Zone.

Herman Wrice Mural

Herman Wrice, who founded Mantua Against Drugs (MAD), led a brave 15-year campaign to drive narcotics dealers from Mantua and to shut down their crack houses.

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