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Resident Caretaker

Wyck Association

Job Title:  Resident Caretaker(s)

Location:  6026 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19144

Job Purpose:  As part of the staff team, the Caretaker(s) provide oversight and security for the Wyck house and outdoor property during non-business hours and Saturday afternoons during tour season; provide indoor and cursory outdoor maintenance and cleaning; serve as host and guide for the visiting public; represent Wyck when in contact with members of the community/neighborhood; communicate household and grounds maintenance/community/security issues to the Executive Director; serve as the first responder for onsite emergencies occurring during non-business hours, or when so designated in the absence of the Executive Director; may be designated by the Executive Director as the primary liaison with utility and maintenance providers serving Wyck.

Responsible to:  Executive Director

Hours:  In exchange for abatement of rent, Caretakers are required to sleep at Wyck every night; serve as host or guide during Wyck functions several times per year; provide visible presence on Saturdays from 11:45 AM-4:15 PM during the season that the house is open to the public.

Caretakers have free use of the Caretaker apartment, and use of the grounds, the kitchen, and the pantry (except during hours when open for visitors).  With the exception of the apartment, all other spaces on the Wyck property are public or accessible by Wyck staff.  The kitchen is not open to the public, but is shared with other staff and volunteers.

Wyck is a smoke free environment and no pets are allowed.

Caretaker Responsibilities in exchange for abatement of rent are:

  • Sleep at Wyck every night (or have an approved housesitter sleep on-site).  Wyck will compensate housesitters  a maximum of $35 per night for up to 10 days per year (subject to Executive Director approval prior to confirmation of travel plans).  Caretaker is responsible for arranging for the housesitter (subject to Executive Director approval) and providing the housesitter necessary information and a list of responsibilities.  Ideally, the Caretaker(s) will not be absent at the same time as the Executive Director.
  • Housekeeping: Keep all tenant areas neat and clean; keep kitchen and pantry clean at all times; during bad weather or heavy tour season, floors throughout the house may need more frequent cleaning, as often as every few days.  Clean the house bathroom and wash hand towels weekly.  Kitchen: Store food and dishes in cabinets.  Wash walls and cabinets as needed; wash floors as needed.  Trash: Empty trash from kitchen wastebaskets to outdoor trash cans daily.  Collect trash/recycling from all offices, Ed Shed, and restrooms.  Put trash and recycling out for city collection (Wednesdays). 
  • Keep the perimeter sidewalks, interior walkways and patios swept and clear of trash, leaves, and other debris.  Remove litter at least once daily from sidewalks, and ideally during tour season, at the beginning and end of each day.  Sweep walks weekly.  May request assistance from other staff to maintain cleanliness of the site and perimeter sidewalks throughout the workday.
  • Clean the first floor according to schedule established in consultation with the Executive Director and designated curatorial manager.  Beyond routine care of museum rooms, curatorial staff will undertake cleaning and polishing of collection objects, but may on occasion ask for assistance from the Caretaker.  Offices should be cleaned according the cleaning schedule established with the Executive Director and designated curatorial manager.  Office trash/recycling should be emptied weekly.
  • Public restrooms and Ed Shed: During the tour season the public restrooms and Ed Shed will be inspected at least once daily and cleaned as needed.  More frequent attention may be required during high periods of use, such as during children’s camps, spring History Hunters tours, and after events.
  • Change indoor and outdoor light bulbs (with assistance from other staff as necessary) when needed and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors each November, or annually as needed.  Coordinate with Executive Director to purchase back-up supplies of these.  Adjust exterior light timers as needed.
  • Insure proper operation of and monitor other security devices.
  • Close Germantown Avenue gate at times when no visitors are expected, close and lock Walnut Lane gate every night (open this gate by 7:30 AM, Monday through Friday when the house/office is open).  Walk through property each night to make sure all doors, windows, gates are properly secured.  Generally, office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Open house on Saturdays and be on-site with guide from 11:45 AM -4:15 PM (April 1-mid-November); close house afterwards.  This includes opening shutters, putting out signs/flags, making sure the house is neat, and providing back-up for the guide for both security and to welcome new visitors if the guide is giving a tour.  The Caretaker(s) must not leave the guide alone at Wyck.
  • Be able to offer tours on Saturdays occasionally when no guide is available.
  • Assist in hosting Wyck events several times per year.   Caretaker(s) will participate in regular meetings with the Executive Director and other staff (scheduled to fit within the Caretaker(s) schedule).
  • During Monday evenings in July the Caretaker(s) must set-up chairs, be present for, and put away chairs for neighborhood Carillon Concerts of First United Methodist Church of Germantown where listeners are invited to sit on Wyck’s lawn. (Substitution of other staff is possible with advanced arrangement.)
  • Clear sidewalks and parking area of snow and ice; salt (magnesium chloride) outer sidewalks and use sand on the interior patios as necessary.  It is important that the bus stop area at the corner of Germantown Avenue and West Walnut Lane be cleared as soon as possible (with a 36” wide path cleared according to city ordinance).  Wyck owns a snow blower to facilitate this work.  Keep salt and sand on hand (purchase supply and submit receipts for reimbursement).
  • During humid months, monitor dehumidifiers and empty as needed.  After heavy rain, Caretaker(s) should inspect the basement to see if there has been any significant flooding and, as necessary, turn on pump to remove water from the basement.
  • Caretaker is Wyck’s first responder during an emergency after hours and should be familiar with the Wyck Emergency Preparedness Plan and location of emergency supplies.
  • Survey property regularly for vandalism, damage, theft, etc. and report any issues immediately to the Executive Director, or in the absence of the Executive Director, to a designated secondary contact.  The Caretaker(s) should be prepared to address some problems immediately, such as appropriately painting over graffiti as soon as it is discovered, or contacting emergency service, utility or maintenance providers.

Knowledge, skills and abilities required:

  • Outstanding interpersonal and community relations skills and the ability to communicate and work effectively within a diverse community. 
  • Ability to foster a cooperative work environment.  Knowledge of the organization’s structure, workflow, and operating procedures. 
  • Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of situations where only limited standardization and resources exist.
  • Vigilance about site security, condition, and cleanliness.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Ability to team build and work with respect for Quaker traditions and a 300 year old house, garden, and collections.  Have a passion for the mission of Wyck that includes working to enrich and strengthen community life. 

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands and fingers to handle or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; and stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl.  The employee is frequently required to climb and balance eight feet or more, and to talk and hear.

The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to10 pounds, frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds, and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include clear vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

The employee must have access to a vehicle for the transport of larger, heavier supplies (i.e. de-icing salt).

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those employee encounters typical of performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee may work in the complete range of outside weather conditions.  The employee occasionally works in high, precarious places.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.  Caretaker(s) must have the ability to climb a narrow, winding staircase to the second floor; those with dust allergies should visit all areas before accepting a job offer.

Wyck is a public site, with programs occasionally happening on evenings and weekends.  The grounds are generally open to the public weekdays and Saturdays from 10am to 6:00 p.m.

Representative Essential Functions:

Cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, washing floors, emptying trash, purchasing household supplies, shoveling/clearing snow and ice, sweeping, picking up trash, guiding tours for small groups, caring for Wyck chickens and cats, representing Wyck to the community during open and closed times, supervising the property during open and/or closed hours. 

EXPECTATIONS FOR ALL EMPLOYEES:  Personal commitment to Wyck’s mission of preservation and community service: demonstrated excellence, technical competence, high ethical standards, collaboration, innovation, and respect for co-workers, commitment to superior internal and external customer communications, personal accountability and ownership; an ever emerging knowledge and respect for the historic family home and gardens, its members and its collections.

All employees, including the Caretaker(s) are required to review the Employee Handbook and agree in writing to adhere to the requirements and guidelines contained therein.


To Apply

TO APPLY: Send resume and cover letter to Jennifer Carlson, Executive Director, at