The ca. 1845 Enoch Rittenhouse Home is a small but architecturally important Greek Revival structure.

The Enoch Rittenhouse Home houses Historic Rittenhouse Town’s Visitor Center, gift shop and Administrative Offices, thanks to the generosity of the Jane Elizabeth Cohen Foundation.

As part of the Enoch Rittenhouse Home restoration work, the Front Parlor was recreated to look as it might have in the late 1800’s. The Parlor is dedicated to Jane’s mother (Ella Rittenhouse Cohen) and her grandmother (Elizabeth Rittenhouse Schultz). The room will serve as a repository for artifacts donated by members of the Rittenhouse family. This spring we will restore the exterior of the structure with the Foundation’s support.

Additional History

The history of the Enoch Rittenhouse Home mirrors the history of this early industrial village nestled in the valley of Paper Mill Run. The building boasts unusually ornate interior moldings and trim that belie its seemingly simple exterior. While no document survives proving who lived in the Enoch Rittenhouse Home at the time it was built in ca. 1845, Charles Benner Rittenhouse (son of Isaac) and his wife, Matilda Purdy, presumably lived in the Enoch Rittenhouse Home for some time. Their children–Isaac, William, George, twins Lizzie and Ella, and Thomas–were all born in the building between 1864 and 1876. Charles died in 1891.

In 1892 Matilda and some of her family (including her youngest child Thomas Purdy Rittenhouse) moved away from Rittenhouse Town and settled on Kingsley Street in nearby Blue Bell Hill. In that same year, Matilda’s daughter Lizzie married William Charles Schulz and moved to Roxborough. William and Lizzie’s child, Ella Rittenhouse Schulz, who was named after Lizzie’s twin sister, Ella, married Siebert Cohen. Their daughter is Jane Elizabeth Cohen (a Historic Rittenhouse Town board member). Thomas Purdy Rittenhouse, son of Charles and Matilda, married Ida Wilhelm. Their son, Albert Wilhelm Rittenhouse married Irma Farrow and their daughters are Christine Rittenhouse Russell and Alice Rittenhouse Miller. Thomas Purdy Rittenhouse and Ida Wilhelm Rittenhouse’s son, Thomas Purdy Rittenhouse, Jr. married Irma Farrow’s sister, Eva, & their daughter is Carol Rittenhouse Diehl and her brother, Thomas Purdy Rittenhouse III.

The family of Charles Benner Rittenhouse and Matilda Purdy were the last of the Rittenhouse families to leave the village. A series of real estate transactions transferred this property and others in the village to the City of Philadelphia and the land and buildings were incorporated into Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. The Enoch Rittenhouse Home and others served as residences for City employees until Friends of Historic RittenhouseTown stepped in to preserve and protect the surviving five Rittenhouse structures beginning in 1984. The Enoch Rittenhouse Home was carefully restored in 2003 by Friends of Historic Rittenhouse Town.

Thanks to the generosity of the Jane Elizabeth Cohen Foundation, the Enoch Rittenhouse Home houses Historic Rittenhouse Town’s Visitor Center, Gift Shop, Administrative Offices and a recreated period parlor.