The Isaac H. Tuttle Fund was incorporated in 1872 as the Home for Old Men and Aged Couples, the first such residence for old men and aged couples who had “fallen upon hard times” in Manhattan. It was founded by a group of concerned members of the Episcopal Church, led by the Reverend Isaac H. Tuttle, Rector of St. Luke’s Church on Hudson Street in Greenwich Village.
The first home was at 487 Hudson Street, next door to the Church. The original building is now the church parish house and is part of the Greenwich Village Historic District. When applications increased and the need for supportive care as well as a home became evident, a new building was completed in 1897 at 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, across from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. As applications continued to grow, a new wing was added in 1929.
The home remained purely a residence, adding “old women” in the 1960s, until the early 1970s, when sweeping changes in federal, state and city laws necessitated demolishing the old home and building more modern quarters. This was done with the intention that it would again be a residence, albeit larger and in compliance with the new code. It opened in November 1976 as Amsterdam House, a separately incorporated institution. In March 1977, the Department of Health instituted new and different regulations which in effect turned the residence into a nursing home. The present building, a 13-story modern building, houses more than 300 residents.
After guiding the new Amsterdam House (the Amsterdam Nursing Home Corporation) through its initial years as a nursing home, the Trustees of the Home decided to expand their activities and explore new directions. Thus, in 1978, the Trustees of the Fund acted to better meet the changing needs of the growing population of the aged in Manhattan. The residence was separately incorporated and today continues its work as a nursing home. In its place, two programs–Grants to Organizations and the Stipendiary Program–were created to meet the needs of the elderly living in the community.
Because the function of the organization has broadened considerably and it is, in fact, no longer a home, the Board felt a different name would be more appropriate and chose to honor the Reverend Isaac H. Tuttle, a man who so accurately foresaw the plight and needs of older citizens. In late 1980, the Isaac H. Tuttle Fund officially became the new name of the Home for Old Men and Aged Couples.