Last week, we looked into the history of Philly’s venerated Museum of Art. Today, we consider another of the city’s Greek-influenced cultural landmarks. The flagship building of The University of the Arts, Dorrance Hamilton Hall, stands between Pine and Spruce Streets on the west side of Broad. The University’s Eugene Bolt tells that the building was conceived by architect John Haviland, most famous for previously designing the Eastern State Penitentiary. Erected in 1824, it is the oldest building still standing on Broad Street.
However, an image taken from G.M. Hopkins’ 1875 Philadelphia Atlas shows that the art school was originally an educational institution of a different kind. For its first 70 years, Haviland’s building housed the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, alternately known as Philadelphia’s Deaf and Dumb Asylum.
In addition to being one…