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Arch Street Meeting House, Philadelphia

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 15+ reviews on the web
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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  • A novelty this visit to a House of Quaker, a people or a lifestyle completely different from ours but have been equally interesting. Fortunately nearby we recommend a reservation
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  • The meeting house has an exhibit on William Penn, his life and Quaker life, as well as tours of the meeting house. However, it is not always open during the hours they claim to be. Bear this in mind. 
  • Whether or not you are familiar with the Society of Friends (Quakers), this building is a national treasure. Try to visit when you can attend the Friends' meeting for worship; all are welcome. Learn a...  read more »
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