Philadelphia Naval Asylum

The Philadelphia Naval Asylum is a complex of buildings at Gray's Ferry Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Built in 1827 as a hospital,[2] it later housed the Philadelphia Naval School, served as a home for retired sailors for the United States Navy from 1834 to 1976, and was ultimately redeveloped as luxury condominiums. The site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971, primarily for its architecture.[3]

U.S. Naval Home
Naval Asylum.jpg
Philadelphia Naval Asylum is located in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Naval Asylum
Philadelphia Naval Asylum is located in Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Naval Asylum
Philadelphia Naval Asylum is located in the United States
Philadelphia Naval Asylum
LocationGray's Ferry Ave. at 24th St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Coordinates39°56′38″N 75°11′2″W / 39.94389°N 75.18389°W / 39.94389; -75.18389Coordinates: 39°56′38″N 75°11′2″W / 39.94389°N 75.18389°W / 39.94389; -75.18389
ArchitectWilliam Strickland
Architectural styleGreek Revival
NRHP reference No.72001173[1]
Added to NRHPAugust 21, 1972
Naval Asylum, Philadelphia Navy Yard, staff payroll, includes: Elizabeth Adams, Laborer, wage 10 per month, dated 8 July 1833
U S Naval Asylum 1838,Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, John Caspar Wild,

Set on more than 20 acres (8.1 ha), the campus includes three buildings designed by architect William Strickland that are considered some of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States: Biddle Hall (the 1833 main building), the surgeon's residence and the governor's residence.[3]

For seven years, from 1838 until 1845, the campus housed the Philadelphia Naval School, a precursor to the United States Naval Academy.[2] Beginning in 1838, midshipmen approaching examinations for promotion were assigned to the school for eight months of study. In 1842, William Chauvenet was placed in charge of the school and formalized much of the study. When the Naval Academy was formed in 1845, four of the seven faculty members came from the Philadelphia school.

The Reading- Room, U.S.Naval Asylum,1878

On July 1, 1889, its name was changed to Naval Home.[4] In 1976, the Naval Home was moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, after it was determined that the Philadelphia facility could not be economically expanded and modernized.[5][2]

In 1988, the property was sold to residential developer Toll Brothers. The main building was damaged by arsonists in 2003. It has since been restored as luxury condominiums.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Gambardello, Joseph A. "Dexter, the U.S. Navy's last working horse, is buried in Philly". Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  3. ^ a b Pitts, Carolyn (1975). "Philadelphia Naval Asylum" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  4. ^ United States; Bureau of Yards and Docks; Navy; Civil Engineer Corps (1957). US Navy Civil Engineer Corps Bulletin, Volume 11. Bureau of Yards & Docks, Navy Department. p. 9.
  5. ^ "Home for Heros - Profiles". Retrieved 2020-12-28.

External linksEdit