The hospital, officially known as Philadelphia State Hospital, opened in 1907. It was run by the city until reports of corruption, scandal and poor patient treatment forced the state to take it over in the 1930s. The state closed it in 1990 and in January 2004 transferred the property to the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. (PIDC) for $850,00.
Concerns from environmental issues and community groups delayed progress. PIDC retained Langan Engineering of Philadelphia to conduct an environmental assessment. It was determined that between $10 million and $15 million would be needed to remove asbestos from the existing buildings and to demolish the structures.
With the help of community groups, PIDC came up with a conceptual master plan for the site. The plan calls for a mixed-used development of market-rate housing, suburban-type office development and 25 acres of open space.
After an RFP for plans, in the summer of 2004 PIDC chose the combined team of Brandywine Realty Trust and Westrum Development Co. to develop the site.