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Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Arch Street Friends

1681

 
 
Arch Street Friends Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, July 5, 2008
1. Arch Street Friends Marker
Inscription. The Arch Street Meeting House stands as an enduring symbol of the people who created Pennsylvania as a "Holy Experiment." Built to house the men's and women's Yearly Meetings, the business sessions of the Religious Society of Friends for Philadelphia and Environs, it remains one of the oldest active houses of worship in the city.
Begun in 1803, the building was financed by the sale of the Greater Meeting House, which stood at Second and High (now Market) Streets, the site of Quaker Meetings since 1696. The Friends did not follow the classic revival style then in vogue. Master carpenter Owen Biddle built the Arch Street Meeting House according to the Quaker principles of plainness and simplicity.
The beautiful but unadorned interior of the Meeting House is well suited to a form of worship in silence, as Friends seek to feel the presence of "The Light that lighteth everyman." Over the past three centuries, Friends have been in the forefront of the struggle for womens' rights, the abolition of slavery, prison reform, humane treatment for the mentally ill, and non-violent resolution of conflict.
The Religious Society of Friends, called Quakers by their early critics, grew out of the teachings of George Fox in England in the 17th century. William Penn, a Fox disciple, founded Philadelphia in 1681 as a haven of religious freedom. His
Interior of Arch Street Friends Meeting image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, July 5, 2008
2. Interior of Arch Street Friends Meeting
"Holy Experiment" was to build a society according to Quaker ideals: absolute right of conscience, human equality, and non-violence. Today, in Quaker Meetings around the world, Friends still strive to adhere to these ideals.
 
Erected by Old Philadelphia Congregations.
 
Location. 39° 57.137′ N, 75° 8.761′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is on Arch Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 320 Arch Street, Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Friends Meeting (a few steps from this marker); Arch Street Meeting House (a few steps from this marker); Keys To Community (within shouting distance of this marker); Philadelphia Conference (within shouting distance of this marker); Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (within shouting distance of this marker); Benjamin Franklin (within shouting distance of this marker); National Funeral For President Washington (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Kahal Kodosh Mikveh Israel (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRChurches, Etc.Civil RightsColonial EraNotable BuildingsNotable PersonsPeace
 
Arch Street Friends image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, July 5, 2008
3. Arch Street Friends
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 19, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,491 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 19, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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