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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Graduate Hospital

Stephanie Somers

Co-CEO of a successful 20+ person team, Stephanie Somers has been bringing her fierce loyalty, unrelenting work ethic, and constant pursuit of creativ...

Co-CEO of a successful 20+ person team, Stephanie Somers has been bringing her fierce loyalty, unrelenting work ethic, and constant pursuit of creativ...

Feb 5 4 minutes read

The Graduate Hospital section of Philadelphia has no lack of history, culture, and convenience. It overlaps both Devil’s Pocket and Rittenhouse, making it a perfect example of Philadelphia neighborhood contrast. “Come for the affordability, stay for the stories” could be its mantra. Hold up while we copyright that... Today, we're going over some of the stories that make Graduate Hospital, Graduate Hospital. Stick around to learn a thing or two or five about this historic area.

1. What’s in a Name?

Sometimes called Southwest Center City or South of South, the most used moniker references a hospital that was actually on the north-end outskirts of this thriving neighborhood. What was used as UPenn’s Graduate School of Medicine (nicknamed Graduate Hospital) is actually a stone’s throw away from the neighborhood itself. Located between Lombard and South on 18th street, it now serves as a rehabilitation facility called Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse. Pretty much an “if it ain’t broke” name, but who are we to judge? An expansion of Devil’s Pocket might not have that “commercial ring” to it...

2. Introducing: The Navy

Another hospital (actually in the neighborhood) on 24th and Grays Ferry became the first Naval Academy in 1839. This only lasted for six years before the branch moved its cadets to Annapolis in 1845. Until 1976, it served as a hospital and retirement home for Naval Veterans. It’s now developed into condos called “Naval Square.”

 3. Come One, Come All

Swedes were the first settlers of Graduate Hospital, well before William Penn arrived. Fast forward 200 years and a passing railway, it has become one of the most diverse areas of the city. An influx of manufacturing jobs in the mid 20th century brought new neighbors along with it. The Royal Theater was an epicenter for the arts in black culture, showcasing music and film until the 70’s. The front of the building is still standing while the guts have been renovated into condos. Seeing a trend here?

4. Home to Cultural Earth Shakers

The Godmother of this neighborhood is undoubtedly Marian Anderson, who cut her teeth singing in a church choir near 20th and Fitzwater and progressing from there to fulfill her artistic dream. Come 1936, she was the first black performer to sing at the White House. In 1991, two years before her passing, she received a lifetime achievement award from the Grammy’s. A bit more recently, a pitching superstar named Mo’ne Davis rose from the grounds of a ballpark at 17th and Fitzwater to show off to the world that girls are just as good as boys, if not better (just sayin').

 5. Walk It Out

If you’re a serial pedestrian like most in the Philly area, this is absolutely the neighborhood for you! The commute to Center City is a hop, skip, and jump. Public transportation runs like concrete veins throughout. Dog parks, river trails, and highway access make this neighborhood super convenient for any lifestyle. Having a pick of local grocery stores, gyms, bars, and restaurants is also a major plus.

Now that you're a Graduate Hospital expert...

Up your Philly knowledge and check out these Fascinating Facts about Olde Kensington

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Greater Philadelphia Real Estate Team

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