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Second Bank Meetinghouse. Front Street, west side, north of Arch. Built in 1702, with materials from the old Center Meetinghouse. Greater Meetinghouse. Southwest corner of Market and Second Streets. The Court House is at the right, with the market stalls in the rear, extending up the middle of Market Street. EARLY PHILADELPHIA MEETINGHOUSES Meetinghouse and Friends School. Southeast corner of Fourth and Chestnut Streets. Cherry Street Meetinghouse. On the north side of Cherry, between Fourth and Fifth Streets. EARLY PHILADELPHIA MEETINGHOUSES The BULLETIN of Friends Historical Association Vol. 44Autumn Number, 1955No. 2 THE CENTER SQUARE MEETINGHOUSE and the Other Meetinghouses of Early Philadelphia By Edwin B. Bronner* Early Quakers in Philadelphia built twelve meetinghouses in the old part of the city, that is, the area along the river from Pine to Vine, and as far west as Seventh Street.1 The earliest structure, the so-called Boarded Meetinghouse, located on the west side of Front Street, near Sansom [1], was built in 1683, during William Penn's first visit to the colony.2 The last building erected in the old area was built by the Friends *Edwin B. Bronner is a member of the Department of History, Temple University. This paper is a part of his address given at the Annual Meeting of Friends Historical Association at Arch Street Meetinghouse on Eleventh Month 29, 1954. 1 The map on page 73 indicates the location of all of these structures except the Center Square Meetinghouse. The map was prepared for the writer by Miss Dorothy Seegers, Temple University. Figures in square brackets in the text refer to locations on this map. The cuts opposite page 65 were kindly furnished by the American Philosophical Society. 2 Inventory of Chwch Archives: Society of Friends in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1941 ), pp. 53-55. On page 54 the persons who compiled this inventory discuss the research undertaken by Albert Cook Myers in regard to this matter. This volume contains a great deal of material related to meetinghouses in Pennsylvania. 67 68Bulletin of Friends Historical Association who withdrew from the central city meetings in 1827. Called the Cherry Street Meetinghouse, it was completed in 1828 on the north side of Cherry, berween Fourth and Fifth Streets [H].3 The second oldest meetinghouse was located on Front Street between Arch and Race Streets [2]. Called the Bank Meetinghouse , because it was on the bank of the Delaware, and built in 1685, it began to decay almost immediately and was demolished and sold for £16, 15 shillings. A Second Bank Meetinghouse was built in 1702-03, which was used until 1790 [5]. By that time, Philadelphia Monthly Meeting had been split into three districts, with the group at the Bank Meetinghouse called the Northern District Meeting. The members erected a new meetinghouse on Keys Alley in 1790, between Front and Second Streets, just north of Race Street [9}. Another seventeenth-century meetinghouse was built on the southwest corner of Second and Market Streets in 1696 [4]. This was replaced in 1755 by a larger edifice [7]. These buildings were referred to as the High Street or Market Street Meetinghouse, and sometimes the early one was called the Great Meetinghouse while the later one was spoken of as the Greater Meetinghouse. This latter building was taken down after the Arch Street Meetinghouse was completed on Arch Street between Third and Fourth Streets [10]. Started in 1804 and completed in 1811, this is the oldest meetinghouse still in use by Quakers in center city. A meetinghouse for Friends in the southern part of the town was built on the south side of Pine near Second Street in 1753 [6]. It was referred to as the Southern District Monthly Meeting after 1772. Another building for worship was erected in 1764 on the southeast corner of Fourth and Chestnut, on the grounds of the Friends School, and it was primarily used for meetings of younger Friends [8]. Two buildings were erected by small schismatic Quaker groups. The Keithian Quakers, followers of George Keith, built a small structure in the l690's, on the southwest corner of Second 3 For a brief description of all these meetinghouses, see Edwin B. Bronner, "Quaker Landmarks in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 65-73
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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