Arch Street Meeting House
Though Arch Street remains a hub for Quaker worship and activities, it is also open to the public. Tours for individuals are self-guided and include access to the worship space and adjoining burial site; as well as exhibits chronicling major episodes from the life of William Penn, an early British Quaker and the founder of Pennsylvania.
Some history-focused walking tours of Philadelphia pass by Arch Street Meeting House, as do ghost-themed tours. Several notable figures are buried at the meetinghouse burial ground, including novelist Charles Brockden Brown; Dr. Thomas Wynne, one of the original settlers in Philadelphia; and former US congressman, Robert Waln.
Things to know before you go
- Arch Street Meeting House is within 5 minutes’ walk of many major Philadelphia attractions including Betsy Ross House, Elfreth’s Alley, Christ Church Burial Ground, and Benjamin Franklin Museum.
- There is no parking at the meetinghouse for visitors, so it’s best to arrive by public transport or on foot.
- Visitors traveling in small groups can show up at the door; large groups should ring ahead.
How to get there
Arch Street Meeting House is situated in Old City—Philadelphia’s historic core. Take the subway to 5th Street Independence Hall. The meetinghouse is about a 5-minute stroll from there.
When to get there
Arch Street Meeting House is typically open on weekdays from April–June, and also includes some weekend hours from June–November. Outside of these months, it’s usually open by appointment only. The meetinghouse also closes for public holidays. For up-to-date hours, it’s recommended that you check the opening schedule before visiting.
The 1979 Philadelphia Conference
In 1979, following the assassination of Harvey Milk, more than 300 LGBTQ activists met at the Arch Street Meeting House to plan a rally. Several months later, the march took place with an estimated 100,000 protesters from all around the country assembling at Washington’s National Mall. The meeting that preceded this, known as the Philadelphia Conference, is remembered by a historical marker at the site.
- Betsy Ross House
- Christ Church
- United States Mint
- Franklin Court
- Benjamin Franklin’s Grave
- National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH)
- National Constitution Center
- Elfreth's Alley
- Independence Visitor Center
- Carpenters' Hall
- President's House
- New Hall Military Museum
- Museum of the American Revolution
- National Liberty Museum
- Independence Mall