The Creative Therapy Center & Healing Gardens

Welcome to our Oasis

The idea of building a healing garden on the rooftop at Magee first came up in 2011. President and CEO Dr. Jack Carroll visited the Philadelphia Flower Show and thought a garden could be a nice addition for our patients, families, and staff. What started as an idea for a single garden on the roof quickly evolved as the conversation broadened.

“We wanted to do this right, so we pulled together multiple groups of people to come up with a plan. This included architecture students, landscape architects, Magee clinicians, former patients, family members, board members, and other community groups,” Dr. Carroll says.

One of the many great ideas that came out of these discussions came from former SCI patient Jeff Harris. “Everyone talks about the great view of the city, but all I can see is this brick wall,” Jeff said in a meeting. Now there are three glass “Windows to the City” on the Race Street side and four on the 16th Street side, replacing the solid brick walls and enabling everyone to see and enjoy the beautiful views of the city.

A Chance to Meet the Changing Needs of Our Patients

Starting with a blank canvas gave us the chance to create new spaces that would meet unmet needs. This proved to be exciting for patients, staff, and donors.

For more than a decade, Magee has had a thriving Art Therapy program. The Art Therapist would push a cart with supplies from room to room, trying to find space in a corner of the gym, sometimes in the greenhouse, or anywhere possible. Now the Art Therapy program has a space of its own on the 6th floor.

“The first week in the Art Therapy Studio brought patients, family members, and other therapists together in ways that hadn’t been possible before. Now we also have two Art Therapy Galleries to showcase the beautiful art that our patients create. I am so thankful that Art Therapy has such a beautiful home,” says Art Therapist Julie Nolan.

Magee also has two Chaplains who provide Spiritual Care. They now have dedicated spaces to work with patients and families in the new Spirituality Center and Meditation Garden.

The Three Seasons Therapy Area, with its glass garage doors, big screen TV, and fireplace, as well as the Patient Resource Center, are also providing more spaces for patients to enjoy sunlight, while getting away from the typical hospital room setting.

Healing Gardens of Different Sizes and Shapes Change the Landscape

What started as “a healing garden” grew to five different healing gardens, all growing beautiful plants and flowers, with fun water features, changing the entire look of the outdoor space on the roof.

The Charlie Manuel Healing Garden sits in one corner, with a water fountain that draws your attention to it from across the way. This unique garden honors the former Phillies Manager who helped raise $250,000 to kick off the fundraising efforts. Each of the other gardens is named in honor of families and loved ones who provided significant support to the project.

In addition to the gardens, there are multiple raised, accessible planter beds that are tended to by Magee Horticulture Therapist Jeannette Glennon-Morrissey. These new spaces complement the renovated Greenhouse that has been a part of Magee’s 6th floor since the 1990s.

Segal Street Gets a Facelift, Too

One of the most active places on the 6th floor rooftop has always been Segal Street, named after Magee’s longtime benefactor and former patient, Jerry Segal. Jerry helped create a city streetscape on the roof back in the 1990s so patients could experience real-life examples of what life after discharge would be like.

As a part of The Creative Therapy Center and Healing Gardens project, Segal Street received two new curb cuts, multiple new surfaces for patients to walk or wheel on, a new car, and a two-level ramp.

Families, Friends, and Donors Answer the Call

Over the years Magee has been blessed with financial support from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and they all came together to help bring this project to life. The fundraising campaign for the Creative Therapy Center and Healing Gardens took about two years and exceeded its goal by raising $2.1 million dollars, which were added to the funds contributed from hospital operations.

Chairman Bill Conrad assembled a leadership committee and led the charge along with the Magee Development team. An incredible 640 donors were supporting this great project.

If you would like to tour The Creative Therapy Center and Healing Gardens, or learn how you can support its ongoing operations, please contact the Development Department, at 215-587-3090 or