Tiny township saves, transforms historic quarantine station

A tiny community near Philadelphia that saved the oldest surviving quarantine station in the Western Hemisphere from the wrecking ball is now transforming the 18th-century structure into township offices

PHILADELPHIA -- A tiny community near Philadelphia that managed to save the oldest surviving quarantine station in the Western Hemisphere from the wrecking ball is now transforming the 18th-century structure into township offices.

For Tinicum Township, renovating the Lazaretto Quarantine Station was part of a broader plan to draw visitors to the community.

For historians, saving the Lazaretto offers a chance to tell stories of immigration and public health in America's early days.

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.

Township officials stopped a developer from tearing it down to build a parking lot. Now, they've restored it and will move offices into the stately building in September.