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Arch Street Meeting House, Philadelphia

4.5
#60 of 72 in Sightseeing in Philadelphia
Landmark Tourist Spot
The Arch Street Friends Meeting House, at 320 Arch Street at the corner of 4th Street in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a Meeting House of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Built to reflect Friends’ testimonies of simplicity and equality, this building is little changed after more than two centuries of continuous use.Pennsylvania founder and Quaker William Penn deeded land to the Society of Friends in 1701 to be used as a burial ground. The east wing and center of the meetinghouse was built between 1803 and 1805 according to a design by the Quaker carpenter Owen Biddle, Jr. Biddle is best known as the author of a builder’s handbook, The Young Carpenter's Assistant, published in 1805. The building was enlarged in 1810–11, with the addition of the west wing. Architects Walter Ferris Price and Morris & Erskine also contributed to the design and construction of the building. The firm Cope & Lippincott renovated the interior of the east wing and designed the two-story addition behind the center building in 1968–69.Today, the Meeting House continues to be a center for worship and the activities of the Monthly, and Yearly Meetings of Friends.Notable members of the Religious Society of Friends who worshiped at this meetinghouse include abolitionist and suffragist Lucretia Mott. Edward Hicks, the noted painter and cousin of Elias Hicks, also attended meeting here.
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Where to stay in Philadelphia

Most of Philadelphia's hotels cluster around the compact city center, ensuring quick and easy access to major tourist sights and activities. The only drawback to staying in this area is the lack of free parking, so if you're exploring by car, considering booking into a bed and breakfast in one of the city's residential blocks. Visitors planning on longer stays can also consider several apartment hotels, offering spacious furnished units with complimentary Wi-Fi, free bike rentals, and access to rooftop terraces.
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33 reviews
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4.8
  • This is an active Quaker Meeting House. It's important to discover who the Quakers are and how they had major influences on the early colonies, the beginning of the U.S., and how they continue to infl...  more »
  • This meeting house was established in 1701 and is the largest in the world. I was impressed by the history. The Quakers at this meeting house played an important part in the abolition move. Services a...  more »
  • This place is filled with peace. The members do not judge anyone & do not believe in war. The docent gave us lots of info, was very easy to talk to & answered many questions.  more »
Google
  • The West Room has no basement! It was built atop a burial ground. The curved panel above the front benches is a sounding board", used to amplify the voices of the people who spoke from underneath it.
  • T'was decent, unfortunately they'd've run out of complementary rich tea biscuits
  • If you're a history buff you should definitely stop in. Cool old place
  • Amanda, the curator, is an amazing host/information guide, and she gave a wonderful reflection and representation of the Quaker life to us personally. The other museum staff, mostly volunteers, were equally knowledgeable and kind.
  • Fascinating!!! I'm from Pittsburgh and never learned much about the Quakers. The staff here was very friendly and love to answer questions!