The Old Poor House
Probably located on the site of Mt. Zion Baptist Chuch, 37 West Rittenhouse Street (formerly Poor House Lane)

"The Old Poor House"
HSP: Perkins Collection: vol. 62, p. 59 (woodcut).

Soon after the first Board of Managers of the Germantown Alsmhouse was organized in 1807, a farm was purchased on what is now West Rittenhouse Street between Tulls court and Greene Street. The main building, pictured above, served as the Poorhouse until a larger building was constructed beyond Wayne Avenue in 1871. The impoverished inmates of the old almshouse, many of whom suffered from mental illness, were given work on the farm. The cellar of the Almshouse was at one time used for prison cells by the local constablry.

After the 1871 removal of the Poorhouse to its new location, the old Poorhouse served as a tenement until its demolition (it appears on the 1885 atlas for Germantown as the property of D. Willahan). After 1871, a variety of dwellings and stores were erected on the old property between Tull's Court and Green Street. The bodies in the grave yard along Greene Street were removed to the Potter's Field at Pulaski and Queen Streets. The Poor House's frame cholera house, constructed near Greene Street in 1832, had already been torn down.

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