Status: Preserved

Address: 850 North Manassas Street, Memphis

Built: 1856-1927

Architectural Style: Italianate (Italian Villa)

Original Function/Purpose: Orphanage

The Porter-Leath Home was placed on the National Register on Oct. 18, 1979.

History: This was Memphis’s first orphanage. The Protestant Widows’ and Orphans’ Asylum was chartered in 1850, and following donation of land by Sarah Leath, the first building of the home was completed in 1856. The institution was named for her, the Leath Orphan Asylum. Edward Culliatt Jones designed a three-story brick building (pictured) that was added in 1875, and further gifts allowed the addition of further buildings. Service and contributions by orphanage trustee Dr. David Tinsley Porter, and bequests by his brother and sister James K. Porter and Rebecca Porter Bartlett, prompted a name change in 1904 to Porter Home and Leath Orphan Asylum, later shortened to Porter-Leath Home in 1951. For more than a century and a half the home has been a resource for Memphis’s at-risk children and families.


City Council District: 7

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8