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Falls Monthly Meeting of Friends (Fourth Meetinghouse)

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Fourth Meetinghouse
1841. Rear of the Third Meetinghouse ( BU13) off New Falls Rd.

Half a century after the construction of the third meetinghouse, the schism within the Society of Friends resulted in the takeover of the 1789 meeting by the socially conservative Hicksite faction, who barricaded themselves in the building. This in turn forced the Orthodox members to build a fourth meetinghouse to the north of the third. It is this last building that presently serves as the Falls Monthly Meeting of Friends. Its severe stuccoed walls, double-meeting form with a rare surviving operable dividing wall rising into a full two-story height, and absence of all decorative trim follow the pattern of later meetinghouses. Despite different siting relative to the V of town streets, all three meetinghouses are parallel in space, presumably to achieve a similar solar orientation that made the buildings more comfortable and to contrast with the norms of Episcopal churches. This group suggests that early Quaker meetinghouses were far more carefully sited to represent theological values than is generally understood.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "Falls Monthly Meeting of Friends (Fourth Meetinghouse)", [Levittown, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-BU14.

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