The Quaker meeting house was built between 1803 and 1805. The simplicity and classic beauty of the building reflect the Society of Friends (also known as the Quakers) and their values of thrift, humility, charitable work, and the rejection of materialism. The meeting house is open for tours and is still used as a center for worship. It hosts the Philadelphia Yearly Meetings of Friends-a general conference that also serves as the central organizing body for the Quakers. The meetinghouse was built upon a Quaker burial ground. One of the earliest symbols of the Quaker belief in equality, the Society of Friends allowed non-members, Native Americans, and African Americans to be buried here.
Visitors can feel how the building has changed little as they walk through the simple and efficient meeting house. They can also view dioramas and exhibits of Quaker history. Attentive tourists will notice how the building is symmetrically balanced, a three-part structure with a center pavilion containing the lobby flanked on each side by large meeting rooms. The east wing is home to the men’s meeting room and the west wing contains the women’s meeting room.