Friends Meeting House - Philadelphia, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 57.346 W 075° 09.898
18S E 485909 N 4422861
Quick Description: Today, this building is known as Race Street Friends Meetinghouse. The historic building has been expanded over the years & serves other purposes. There is a complex of offices in this building which is used as a national meeting place for Quakers.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 12/22/2009 7:38:50 PM
Waymark Code: WM7YG8
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 2

Long Description:

On the southwest corner at Race Street is the Friends Meeting House (60), built in 1856. This is the headquarters of the Friends Yearly Meeting and houses administrative offices.

The building is a two-story, red brick structure with an attic and two shallow side wings. The front and rear facades are similar, with their three large double entrance doors and large window. Simple pediments surmount the facades and the tow side wings. A simple cornice extends around the entire building. The meetinghouse is set within a large brick court surrounded by buildings of later date.

The structure contains two auditoriums for worship. The larger auditorium, facing Race Street, is open to the public on Sunday evenings during the winter months, as the Race Street Forum. A library containing about 2,000 volumes and pamphlets is maintained.

--- Philadelphia: A Guide to the Nation's Birthplace, 1937; page 390

The group that meets here to share meeting for worship is called the Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. Meeting for Worship is held first day 11:00 AM but July & August only, 11:00 AM. They have been meeting under this name since 1956. This meeting house was built in 1856

The most important detail of this waymark (besides the meeting house) is this is the national office for the American Friends Service Committee. Also found here is a Quaker information center, the Friends World Committee, Quaker education center, and the Friends Center Corporation. Finally, the Philadelphia yearly meeting meets here annually.

There is a statue to the left of the main entrance which adorns the front yard. It is a statue of Mary Dyer. It was a gift from the Fairmount Park Art Association and erected by the Friends Center Corporation in cooperation with the redevelopment authority of Philadelphia in May 1975. Mary Dyer was a Quaker witness for religious freedom. She was hanged in Boston Common in 1660.

If you like the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission blue marker program than you will love this place. There are two of these historic signs out front. The first one is Civilian Public Service and the other, America Friends Service Committee. They are already waymarked so have at it.

1515 Cherry Street
Philadelphia PA 19102-1403
(215) 241 7260
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Mondays through Thursdays

I also found some information on this website. "Much of the story of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting is also the story of Philadelphia Quakers for the last two centuries. The meeting came into existence with the merger of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (Race Street) and Twelfth Street Meeting at the time of the reconciliation of the Hicksite and Orthodox branches of Quakerism in 1956. Margaret Bacon, writing about her own meeting, tells us about these two meetings, their schools and meetinghouses, the development of Friends organizations, and their social action that responded to the events around them, that bring us up to the present time."

For the complete history of this meeting and of Philadelphia's Friends history click HERE. Rather than just copy and paste, you can read it from the original source.

Book: Philadelphia

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 474-475

Year Originally Published: 1937

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