The Lazaretto, an 18th century quarantine station that protected our new nation from Yellow Fever will now be re-purposed into part township offices, part museum, writes Kristen De Groot for The Philadelphia Tribune.
Tinicum Township went out of its way to save the oldest surviving quarantine station in the Western Hemisphere from demolition.
Now it hopes the historic building will be a destination for tourists, connecting Tinicum with other historic waterfront sites.
Built in 1799, the quarantine station protected the Port of Philadelphia against the introduction of diseases that could lead to epidemics for nearly a century.
“It’s a part of American history that we never learn about,” said David Barnes, a University of Pennsylvania professor who is writing a history of the building. “It gives us entry to a lost world, and into the hidden story of how our country came to be and grow, how it accommodated immigrants and dealt with disasters.”
The building will house offices and police station, but there is hope that part of the building will also house immigration and public health exhibits, offer kayak and boat rentals, tours and a beer garden and café.
Read more about the Lazaretto here.