center section of the building was designed to be the residence
of the officers and servants and for other necessary purposes.
The first floor of the building became the administrative center
and is still used for this purpose today. Also housed on the
first floor was the original apothecary and the historic library,
both are the first in the nation.
The present floor of the Great Court is adorned with Portuguese
tile that is estimated to be over 150 years old. Underneath the
tile is the original wide-planked pine floor. The tablets adorning
the walls were erected in honor of some of the benefactors who
supported the Hospital in its early years and throughout the
difficult financial times that followed. The Great Court was
restored in 1976 for the nation's bicentennial and was completed
using traditional colonial colors.
engine was purchased in 1803 and is believed to be the
work of Philip Mason, a Philadelphia engine maker. The fire
engine was needed so employees could pump their own water in
case of fire. The Board of Managers was so proud of its acquisition
it tested the engine prior to each month's Board meeting.
Coates portrait outside the original apothecary is one
of two paintings in the Hospital that were created by the famous
artist Thomas Sully.
original apothecary most recently has been used as the offices
of the Hospital's senior administrator and is now used as a meeting
facility. On the wall just inside the door is the Hospital's
portrait of Dr. Philip Syng Physick, the father of American
the top of the east window is an etching of the Hospital's
seal, which depicts the bible story of the Good Samaritan.
To the right of this east window, under the etching, is the Thomas
Eakins painting of Dr. Joseph DaCosta, a physician on
staff for many years. It is unknown why the famous painter chose
DaCosta as a subject.
the far corner is a musical planetarium clock constructed
by David Rittenhouse in 1780. The clock was deposited at the
Hospital in 1819 by Sarah Zane, who bequeathed it in 1870, upon
The room across the hall served originally as the library, the
nation's first medical library. Today it is used as a meeting
Continue on to The Historic Library