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The City Alms House on Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA, 1823.
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Alms House in Spruce Street, 1823.

Credit: Independence National Historical Park

Between 1760 and 1767 the City of Philadelphia constructed a new Alms House, which included an infirmary, to replace the cottages that the Society of Friends (Quakers) had provided for indigent immigrants as early as 1713. The House of Employment or "workhouse," where all recipients of charity were encouraged to donate their skills, was built at the same time. The city razed both in 1834-35 after changing conditions had required the erection of larger facilities across the Schuylkill River in West Philadelphia.

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