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Meadville Unitarian-Universalist Church

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1836, George Washington Cullum. 346 Chestnut St.
  • Meadville Unitarian-Universalist Church (Lu Donnelly)
  • (Michelle Krone)

This serene Greek Revival church is noteworthy for its unusual proportions and its status as mother church for many Unitarian congregations to the west. Dutch immigrant Harm Jan Huidekoper founded this congregation in 1825. George Cullum, the designer, was a church member who ultimately served for forty-five years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and spent his first year after graduating from West Point (1933) in Newport, Rhode Island. Although modeled on Westminster Congregational Church of 1829 in Providence, Rhode Island, the budget was not as large, and so it has half as many columns, uses pilasters rather than engaged columns on the portico walls, and is of red brick rather than stone construction. The portico's four Doric columns are so widely spaced that there are two triglyphs between each instead of the usual single triglyph. Despite this, the church is not a stripped-down version of its model, but is complete in itself. With large windows and oversized doors the church seems to emphasize an openness of thought and of public scrutiny. And its design complemented William Strickland's nearby (now demolished) courthouse.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Meadville Unitarian-Universalist Church", [Meadville, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 510-510.

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