Like the 19th century immigrants who sweated through the deadly yellow fever epidemic in the wards of the Lazaretto quarantine station, the red-brick hospital on the banks of the Delaware River in Tinicum Township was not expected to survive, writes Inga Saffron for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
It was too big to be converted into a house, too awkward to lay out for apartments.
Some developer wanted to raze the National Register building to create a remote parking lot for the Philadelphia Airport.
The demolition never happened. Tinicum Township, a municipal community of 4,000 people, said no.
It found a new use for the building and raised more than $8 million for renovation. This summer, the Lazaretto will rise again when the township moves its offices into the building.
Under the supervision of architects Nan Gutterman and Albert Comly Jr. of Vitetta, the pond-size holes in the floors have been covered in wide oak floorboards. All the fireplace mantels, medical cupboards and wood trim have been refurbished. And the 219-year-old building has been outfitted with three modern conveniences: toilets, elevators and fire stairs.
The Lazaretto hasn’t looked this fresh since it opened around 1800.
Read more about the Lazaretto and its’ history here.