PIECE BY PIECE, the six towering marble columns that for years had graced the Old York Road entrance to Albert Einstein Medical Center have carefully been reinstalled at the Logan campus.
The Greek columns, each 24 feet tall and 3 feet wide, are known as the Strickland Columns. They had been part of the now-demolished Second United States Mint, built in 1829 on Chestnut Street near Juniper, which was designed by the architect William Strickland.
The mint was sold in 1902, but the Ionic-style columns were donated to Einstein in 1904. Then in 2000, the columns were removed from Einstein because of road reconstruction and placed in storage until earlier this month.
Now, the columns stand guard at Einstein's main entrance, towering over a parklike setting just off Broad Street, with orange and yellow flowers blooming.
One sunny afternoon last week, Kisha Crowder was sitting in a gazebo outside the hospital with her 6-year-old daughter and the 12-year-old daughter of a friend.
"I think that's pretty cool that they would put them right there for everyone to see," said Crowder, who was waiting for a friend whose husband was being treated at the hospital.
Damien Woods, a spokesman for Einstein, said the return of the Strickland Columns is the first phase of a plan to redesign the park area where they now stand. The medical center will create a new sitting area and install new landscaping to provide visitors and employees with a peaceful place to enjoy the outdoors.