Phase I of our renovations have been completed, and Merion Friends Meeting looks
like it did before!
structural issues beneath the surface have been addressed. Come visit us to
Meetinghouse is a
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.
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.
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:
that need to be addressed:
to timber roof framing
of the chimney
detection and security systems
and to preserve the building
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:
for Sacred Places, 2006
Friends Central School
Meeting Fund Grant
Proposed Funding Sources
Merion Meeting fundraising
Capital Capital Campaign
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.
per year = $314
per year = $3140
dollars per year = $31,400
are tax deductable to the fullest extent permissible by law.
Friends Meeting would like to thank
the following friends and businesses
for their generous support of our
Capital Campaign Preservation Project:
JOSEPH H. LAIRD
& PEGGY SHAVER
& PHIL BAGLEY
J. MICHAEL CASEY
ELLEN YUHAS & JOHN B. HAGNER
& MRS. WALTER HERMAN
& PHYLLIS HOFFMAN
AT BRYN MAWR
& JANE DELLHEIM
& LINDA DUNN
& DOUGLAS COSTA
& MARYJO STRAWBRIDGE
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