Transplant House to open in June
April 26, 2011, 4:24 am · Updated September 1, 2011, 12:16 pm·
Sandwiched between late-night mecca Allegro Pizza and the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s Clyde F. Barker Transplant House — at 3940 Spruce St. — will officially open in mid-June.
Though a seemingly peculiar spot for a place designated for recovering organ recipients, 3940 Spruce St. “is actually a great location” for the Transplant House, said director of development Jessie McCulley.
The project was initially slated to open this past March, but due to various factors including weather, funds and construction timelines, the date has been postponed to this summer.
McCulley said that the Transplant House “is something that the transplant patients and doctors have wanted for 10 years” and that they began fundraising as early as six years ago.
The two-story building consists of 12 rooms to accommodate the patients and their families. There is also a kitchen, dining room and communal space and an education center on the ground floor to “give people a private space to stay but have the opportunity to react and meet people going through the same thing,” McCulley said.
As for the Transplant House’s location between a late-night restaurant and a fraternity house, McCulley explained that “if you look at the University campus, there really isn’t a lot of land. The University had the plot, and it was one of the closest to the health system.”
McCulley also noted that HUP will provide a shuttle system to and from the Transplant House for the patients and their families.
The neighboring Allegro Pizza at 3942 Spruce St. is happy to see the Transplant House fill the vacant lot, manager Peter Karvounis said. “It’s going to help us because it’s just going to bring more business with the families next door. They’re going to need to eat,” he said. “The [construction] workers are constantly here grabbing pizza.”
McCulley also remarked that Allegro has donated water and pizza to the construction workers on the project. She has embraced the location of the Transplant House as well.
“With the way that 40th Street has developed, people will find that when they go inside the house, it’s a very quiet, private design,” McCulley said.
Phi Kappa Psi declined to comment regarding the location of the Transplant House.