Friends Center Corporation records
- Friends Center Corporation (Philadelphia, Pa.) (Organization)
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Biographical / Historical
The continuously active meetinghouse has served its congregation and the larger community for over 150 years. Important figures in the life of this building have included prominent women’s right activists Lucretia Mott, Hannah Clothier Hull, and Alice Paul. In 1993 the Race Street Meetinghouse was designated a National Historic Landmark for its role in women’s rights movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
In the early 1960s, a group of Friends responded to the long-stated wish to have a physical place where Quakers could gather for thought and action. Their response took the form of a plan for a dedicated campus, a Friends Center, where service organizations could be housed together to enable the synergies that come from physical proximity. The site they chose encorporates the Race Street Meetinghouse and its tree-filled courtyard. An adjacent 56,000 square foot office building was constructed in the early 1970s.
The campus consisted of the original Race Street Meeting House, 1520 Race Street, and a new building at 1501 Cherry Street. The campus was dedicated as Friends Center in November 1975. By the late 1990s planning began for renovation and capital improvements of the campus. Beginning in 2004, the renovation was completed in 2009 with a goal of environmental witness which included thermal wells, a green roof, and storm water management Today Friends Center continues to function as a center for Quaker concerns. In 2021 it was announced that nearby Friends Select School will purchase the building at 1520 Race Street which will formalize the connectivity between the School and the Center.
Friends Center Corporation was organized in 1972 to oversee construction plans. According to its 1996 mission statement, FCC is responsible for managing the Friends Center property with the goal of furthering the beliefs and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends
7 Linear Feet (9 boxes and 3 oversized blueprint boxes)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Friends Center Corporation records
- Susanna Morikawa
- March 2021
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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