Update: Phase I of our renovations have been completed, and Merion Friends Meeting looks ...

just like it did before!

But important structural issues beneath the surface have been addressed. Come visit us to see!

 

 

 


 

Merion Friends
Meetinghouse is a
National Historic
Landmark

and one of the oldest extant examples of early Quaker architecture in the country. The construction of Merion Meetinghouse began as early as 1695 and was completed by 1715. Its T-shaped, almost cruciform plan appears to be unprecedented in meetinghouse design, and reflects the lack of prescribed standards governing the design of meetinghouses erected by the earliest Quaker settlers to Pennsylvania. Merion Meetinghouse is also of interest for its use of the Welsh building traditions as seen in the stone construction, steeply pitched roof with angled (cruck) timbers, remnants of original leaded casement windows, pent eaves, and doorway hoods.

 

Merion Meetinghouse has been in continuous use for over three hundred years. It is one of the oldest meetinghouses in the nation. Its existence represents the core values upon which our nation built the civil and religious liberties that William Penn first introduced in Pennsylvania.

Merion Meetinghouse is one of only a few meetinghouses to survive from the 17th century. For over 300 years, it has served as the center of religious life for Merion Friends, also known as Quakers. Merion Meetinghouse is virtually unchanged since the last imporvements were made in 1829. Its preservation is an important affirmation of the concept of Brotherly Love.

In 1997, a U.S. Department of the Interior Historic Building Survey (HABS) of the Merion Meetinghouse revealed that the building had some very serious structural conditions that needed to be addressed.

In response to the survey, Merion Meeting raised the necessary funding to hire experts in the field of historic preservation -- John Milner Architects, and Keast and Hood Structural Engineers -- who developed a physical assessment and structural survey of the building. Their findings confirmed the initial HABS assessment and indentified many structural conditions that need to be resolved. The assessment report outlines a list of priorities for the preservation of this National Historic Landmark:

 

Issues that need to be addressed:

Structural repairs
to timber roof framing

Reconstruction of the chimney

Floor replacement

Electrical service upgrade

Fire detection and security systems
for life safety
and to preserve the building

Pointing

Termite treatment and repairs
of the wainscoting and baseboards

 

 

Merion Meeting has been awarded $97,000 Keystone grant from Partners for Sacred Spaces and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commision Keystone Grant Program, a $20,000 Pennsylvania DCED, and a $10,000 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Samuel Jeans Trust grant, and a $5,000 gift from Friends Central School. We have developed a capital campaing, have formed a strong committee and we are actively seeking a diverse base of funding sources. Our committe members have taken courses with Partners for Sacred Spaces in fundraising and community partner development. Our fundraising plan has been developed and the structure of our match is as follows:

 

 

Grants Currently Funded

PHMC/Keystone/Partners for Sacred Places, 2006

$97,000

PA-DCED

$20,000

Friends Central School donation

$500

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Fund Grant

$10,000

Total

$132,000

 

Proposed Funding Sources

 

Merion Meeting fundraising

$60,000

Funding needed

$108,000

Goal

$300,000

 

 

Merion Meeting's Capital Capital Campaign

Our Spiritual Challenge is to ensure the continuation of William Penn's "Holy Experiment." Our physical challenge is to preserve the meetinghouse for future generations, not just for Quakers, but for all who care about the origins of our nation. The fact that William Penn visited Merion Meeting only adds to its national significance. Penn's "Holy Experiment" went on to become, as he predicted, "the seed of a nation."

 

You can help us preserve this irreplaceable symbol of freedom. Consider making a contribution for each year since 1695 or any amount you prefer.

One dollar per year = $314

Ten dollars per year = $3140

One hundred dollars per year = $31,400

Contributions are tax deductable to the fullest extent permissible by law.

 

 

Our early contributors

Merion Friends Meeting would like to thank
the following friends and businesses
for their generous support of our
Capital Campaign Preservation Project:

HELEN P. DIXON

MRS. JOSEPH H. LAIRD

JEFFREY & PEGGY SHAVER

ANN & PHIL BAGLEY

PAULA BURNS

MR. J. MICHAEL CASEY

CAROL STRICKLAND

INA ASHER

FREDERICK WEITZMAN

MARY ELLEN YUHAS & JOHN B. HAGNER

ROSS MITCHELL

DEBRA KING GRADY

RUTH W. WILLIAMS

JERRY SKILLINGS

DR. & MRS. WALTER HERMAN

TIMOTHY & PHYLLIS HOFFMAN

BEAUMONT AT BRYN MAWR

ERNEST & JANE DELLHEIM

NANCY WINKLER

MISS ELLEN BURR

KAREN S. NAKAHARA

MS. JULIE JENSEN

A. JACK RAYMOND

DR. MARGARET STINEMAN

KENNETH L. BRIER

DORIS K. SELDIN

ROBERT FOWLER

JEFFREY & LINDA DUNN

DAVID MORSE

MS. ROBIN SPENCER

TURNER ELOISE WELCH

JULIA BURROWES

ROBERT FITTS

JOSEPH FIELD

PHYLLIS WATT PRESTILEO

LAUREL & DOUGLAS COSTA

SUSQUEHANNA INTERNATIONAL GROUP

YSSABELLA B. WATT

BEVERLY FITTS

FRANCIS & MARYJO STRAWBRIDGE

 

 


 

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