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Volume 20, No. 1 Spring Number, 1931 Bulletin of Friends' Historical Association THE NEW MEETING HOUSE IN WASHINGTON At the request of the Editor the"following letter was written for the Bulletin by our fellow member and Director, Walter F. Price, who was the architect (of the firm of Price and Walton, Philadelphia) in charge of planning and building the meeting house. An account of the meeting of dedication, First Month fourth, 1931, appeared in The Friend (Phila.), 1 mo. 8, 1931, and in the Friends' Intelligencer, 1 mo. 10, 1931.—Editor. To the Editor : In accordance with thy wish I am writing to relate various facts concerning the building of the new meeting house in Washington, District of Columbia. Several causes brought about the building of the house. The first one was the interest that Mrs. Hoover and Mrs. Charles D. (Mary Vaux) Walcott took in the recently built Westtown meeting house. From Mrs. Walcott I learned, early in 1930, that there was a real need for a dignified and conservative meeting in Washington, to which all who wished to worship in the Friendly way could resort,—a place similar to that provided by the meeting at Atlantic City. When Mary Walcott first telephoned to me at my home, she said that she had secured the option on an ideal site, near her own house in the northwest part of Washington. She also mentioned that Mrs. Hoover and she, having visited meetings in Virginia and other states, felt that no meeting house seemed to have the same dignified suitability for Washington as the one at Westtown. The fine initiative of Mrs. Walcott, seconded by President and Mrs. Hoover and other Friends, secured the plot referred to above, which had two great oak trees and smaller locusts, on a slope inclining toward Florida Avenue and flanked by Phelps Place and Decatur Place. The woodsy feeling of this location was enhanced by the presence of great oaks and other trees on the other side of the party line. Thus the finished building, viewed from 1 2 BULLETIN OF FRIENDS' HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION the Florida Avenue side, appears to have a background of real woods. Late in the spring a telephone message came from Mrs. Walcott that she had taken a woman Friend to Westtown who liked the meeting house there, and who was willing to give the funds for a similar building in Washington, which should have the same kind of stone and the same interior finish and color. Only later, when working drawings had been made, did Mary Walcott divulge the name of this kind donor, who was Lucy W. Foster, of Westerly, Rhode Island. The building committee was made up of Mary V. Walcott, Treasurer, Elsie P. Brown, E. C. Stanton and H. B. Stabler, all of Washington. An excellent contour plan of the plot of ground was generously made by E. C. Stanton, assisted by M. F. Rouse. The needs of the meeting required a large number of class rooms, also social and other rooms in the basement, which, owing to the grade, became merely the first story of a two-storied structure. Moreover, as the building would be filled to capacity as long as the present President was in Washington, it was necessary to have an adequate ventilating system. This was installed, as were also the boilers for gas heating, the intention being to make the building as perfect as it could be, using all the modern mechanical devices necessary to that end. Furthermore, the building committee asked us to provide room for future expansion, so that the one-story projection fronting on Decatur Place, with its colonial door, would be merely the lower story of a future two-storied building, which would have a gable perhaps three feet lower than the adjacent gable. This upper part would contain two rooms, while against the side wall that shows in the picture, would be a one-storied structure, with gable almost touching the gate. Thus when these are added, the group will have its final form. The colonial door of the one-story projection on Decatur Place is really the front door for entrance from the street. Its special...


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