Penn History

Penn Campuses Before 1900

West Philadelphia Campus: Initial Phase, 1872-1900

Expanding student enrollment and changing curriculum led to the 1872 move of the University to West Philadelphia. Architect Thomas Webb Richards designed the first buildings on this campus: College Hall, Medical Hall (later Logan and then Claudia Cohen Hall), the original building of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Robert Hare Medical Laboratories. By 1900 the campus would include athletic fields and close to 30 buildings, including dormitories, a museum, a power plant and laundry, more hospitals and laboratories, and buildings for the new Veterinary, Dental and Engineering Departments.

Most were significant structures designed by architects such as George W. and W.D. Hewitt, Furness & Evans, Cope & Stewardson, Collins & Autenreith, Addison Hutton, the Wilson Brothers, Frank Miles Day, Wilson Eyre, and Edgar V. Seeler. A few, such as a dining hall and Eadweard Muybridge’s photography studio, were meant to be temporary. Some buildings still stand, but others, even those of architectural significance, have since been replaced by more modern construction.

Timeline of Buildings

For building locations, see the campus maps below.

College Hall, c. 1890
College Hall
1871-1872 (towers removed 1914)
Architect: Thomas Webb Richards
[View original floor plans]
Medical Hall (built 1873), later Logan Hall and then Claudia Cohen Hall, c. 1890
Medical Hall (later Logan Hall, now Claudia Cohen Hall)
1873-1874 (reconstructed after 1919 fire)
Architect: Thomas Webb Richards
36th between Locust and Spruce Streets
[View original floor plans]
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, original building, 1888
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
1874 (demolished for and incorporated into 20th century Hospital construction)
Architect: Thomas Webb Richards
Spruce between 34th and 36th Streets
[View original floor plans]
Hare Building, c. 1885
Robert Hare Medical and Dental Laboratory
1877-1878 (demolished 1969)
Architect: Thomas Webb Richards
36th and Spruce Streets, now the site of Williams Hall
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Gibson Wing for Chronic Diseases, c. 1905
Henry C. Gibson Wing for Chronic Diseases
1883 (later demolished and incorporated into other Hospital buildings)
Architect: George W. and W.D. Hewitt
Spruce Street, attached to the west end of the original Hospital building
School of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Hospital, c. 1885
Veterinary Hospital and Veterinary Hall
1883-1884 (separate Dog Hospital added by 1895, all demolished c. 1901)
Architect: Furness & Evans
Pine Street, south side, above 36th Street; now the site of the John Morgan Building
Biological Hall, c. 1890
Biological Hall (later the John McFarlane Hall of Botany)
1884, 1887 (since demolished)
Architect: Frederick M. Mann
Vivarium added by 1900
Pine Street, south side, above 37th Street; site now occupied by David Goddard Labs (1962-1965)
[Old] Athletic Field, 1885
[Old] Athletic Field
1885 (until 1895)
Bounded by 36th, Spruce, 37th and Pine Streets; since 1895 the site of Quadrangle dormitories
Eadweard Muybridge's outdoor camera house, 36th and Pine Streets, c. 1886
Photographic Studios of Eadweard Muybridge
c. 1885 (demolished 1887)
Pine Street, north side, below 36th Street; later the site of the Maternity Hospital and now the Jonathan Rhoads Pavilion

Laundry and Machine Shops
c. 1885 (later demolished)
Architects: Cope & Stewardson
Pine Street, north side, at about 35th Street, behind the original Hospital

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Maternity Building, 1894
Maternity Hospital and Mortuary Chapel (HUP)
c. 1887 (both later demolished for other Hospital construction)
Architects: Furness & Evans
On Pine Street, north side, below 36th Street
Dining Hall (demolished 1895), c. 1891
Dining Hall
by 1890 (demolished 1895)
South of College Hall, on site of present Perelman Quadrangle
Botanical Gardens (now Kaskey Park), 1906
Botanical Gardens
c. 1890
Designer: John Muirhead MacFarlane, Professor of Botany
Walnut Street, 3300 block, 1882
Bennett Residence for Women
acquired by 1890 (adjacent properties added by 1900, all demolished in 1925 for construction of Bennett Hall, now Fisher-Bennett Hall)
Walnut Street, below 34th Street
University Library (now Anne and Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library), c. 1899
University Library (now Fisher Fine Arts Library)
1890-1891
Architects: Furness & Evans
34th between Walnut and Spruce Streets
Lea Institute of Hygiene, c. 1901
Lea Institute of Hygiene (later Smith Chemistry Laboratory and Lea Laboratory of Hygiene)
1891-1892 (demolished 1995)
Architects: Collins & Autenreith
34th Street, north of Spruce Street, now occupied by Vagelos Labs (1997)
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Wood Memorial Nurses Home, 1894
Nurses Hall
1891, 1897-1898 (moved in 1913, later demolished)
Architects: Addison Hutton, extensive additions by Cope & Stewardson
34th and Spruce Streets, now the site of HUP’s J. William White Memorial Building (1913-1922)
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, D. Hayes Agnew Memorial Pavilion, c. 1902
Agnew Memorial Pavilion (HUP)
1894-1897 (damaged by fire 1937)
Architects: Cope & Stewardson
On Spruce Street, east end of Hospital complex. Surviving portions of building incorporated into Crothers Dulles building (1939-1941)
John Harrison Laboratory of Chemistry, c. 1901
John Harrison Laboratory of Chemistry
1894 (destroyed by fire 1957, demolished c. 1969)
Architects: Cope & Stewardson
34th Street, north of Spruce Street, now the site of the Chemistry Laboratories
Wistar Institute of Anatomy, c. 1894
Wistar Institute of Anatomy
1894, with 1897 addition
Architects: George W. & W. D. Hewitt
36th and Spruce Streets
Dormitory Quadrangles, Memorial Tower, c. 1901
Quadrangle Dormitories
1894-1911 (western triangle built first)
Architects: Cope & Stewardson
Spruce between 36th and 38th Streets
Mechanical (Engineering) Laboratory and Central Heat and Power Plant, c. 1901
Mechanical (Engineering) Laboratory and Central Heat and Power Plant
by 1895
Architects: Wilson Brothers & Company
Spruce Street, above 34th Street; site of present Irvine Auditorium (1928)
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, William Pepper Laboratory of Clinical Medicine, c. 1925
William Pepper Laboratory of Clinical Medicine (HUP)
1894-1897 (later demolished)
Architects: Cope & Stewardson
Spruce Street, west of Gibson Wing; now the site of Martin Maloney Pavilion

Pepper Maternity Hospital (HUP)
c. 1894 (later demolished)
Architects: Cope & Stewardson
36th Street, south of Spruce Street; now the site of Jonathan Rhoads Pavilion

Houston Hall, 1900
Houston Hall (first student union in the United States)
1894-1896
Architects: Frank Miles Day & Brothers, William Charles Hays, and Milton Bennett Medary
Spruce between 34th and 36th Streets
Dental Hall (now Hayden Hall), c. 1901
Dental Hall (later Fine Arts, now Hayden Hall)
1895-1896
Architect: Edgar V. Seeler
Locust between 33rd and 34th Streets
Franklin Field, Penn vs. Harvard football game, c. 1901
Franklin Field
1895
Field and bleachers only during the nineteenth century, except for a small Athletic Office added in southwest corner in the late 1890s; stadium and permanent stands built 1922 (lower deck) and 1925 (with upper deck)
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, c. 1910
Museum of Science and Art (now The University Museum)
1897-1899, West Court
Architects: Cope & Stewardson; Wilson Eyre; and Frank Miles Day and Bros.
Spruce and 33rd Streets
Law School, c. 1901
Law School (also known as Lewis Hall)
1898-1902
Architects: Cope & Stewardson
34th between Sansom and Chestnut Streets
Randall Morgan Laboratory of Physics, 1902
Morgan Laboratory of Physics
acquired 1900 (built 1892 as part of the Foulke and Long Institute, an orphanage)
Architects: Cope & Stewardson
34th between Walnut and Locust Streets

Campus Maps

These maps are from the University Catalogues of 1885 and 1900. For information on specific buildings, see the illustrated timeline above.

University of Pennsylvania campus map, 1885
University of Pennsylvania campus map, 1885
University of Pennsylvania campus map, 1900
University of Pennsylvania campus map, 1900