Fulton County Almshouse

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Fulton County Almshouse
Opened 1869/1911
Closed 1963
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Single Building
Architect(s) Morgan and Dillon
Location Atlanta, GA
Architecture Style Neoclassical Revival
Alternate Names
  • Fulton County Poor House
  • Haven Home
  • Galloway School (Current)


The first almshouse in Atlanta (the county seat of Fulton County) was destroyed in the Civil War. The next location in the second half of the 19th century was in what was then a rural location at Peachtree and Piedmont roads. After that area started to develop into a residential district, the government of Fulton County purchased 1,000 acres even farther from downtown for two new almshouses to be built in 1911; the main building was for white residents, and another building nearby was for African-Americans. This occurred during the era of Jim Crow segregation when separate public facilities were commonplace in the South. The former almshouse for African Americans is now on a different parcel, owned by a different entity, and outside the boundary for this nomination. (It is currently used by the Chastain Arts Center.) In addition to using it as an almshouse, the county once housed black female prisoners in the rear section of the caretaker's house at the black almshouse. Some of these African-American women worked in the kitchen and did other domestic chores, such as cooking, cleaning, and caretaking, at the almshouse for white residents. These prisoners functioned as the staff for the white almshouse, under the direction of the superintendent and nurses.

After 1932, the property also was known as Haven Home. Ms. Jessie Clark Boynton became superintendent in 1932 and remained in this position until the end of the almshouse era in 1963. She was instrumental in supervising female prisoners who lived in a wing at the almshouse for African Americans and did domestic work at the almshouse for Whites; she helped them find jobs upon their release. Ms. Boynton also instituted recreational programs for elderly residents.

The days of the building as an almshouse ended in 1963; the remaining residents were moved elsewhere. The property served as an annex for a local elementary school for a time. It was leased from the county in 1969 and became a private school, the Galloway School, founded by Elliot Galloway. Few alterations were needed to convert the almshouse to a school; some interior walls were removed to convert bedrooms to classrooms; the original windows remain. Dropped ceilings and new lighting fixtures have been added to the school as well as new electrical wiring. Some dormers have been added on the courtyard-facing side of the attic of the west wing to create more classrooms.