Philadelphia Sights

Free Quaker Meeting House

  • 500 Arch St. Map It
  • Old City
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 02/01/2016

Fodor's Review

This was the house of worship for the Free "Fighting" Quakers, a group that broke away from the Society of Friends to take up arms against the British during the Revolutionary War. The building was designed in 1783 by Samuel Wetherill, one of the original leaders of the group, after they were disowned by their pacifist brothers. Among the 100 members were Betsy Ross (then Elizabeth Griscom) and Timothy Matlack, colonel in Washington's Army and assistant secretary of the Continental Congress. After the Free Quaker group dissolved (many left to become Episcopalian), the building was used as a school, library, and warehouse. The meetinghouse, built in the Quaker plain style with a brick front and gable roof, has been carefully restored.

Sight Information


500 Arch St., at 5th St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106, USA

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Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Mar.–Nov., weekends 11–4

Published 02/01/2016


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