West Grove Friends Meeting House, 153 East Harmony Road, West Grove, Chester County, PA
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Significance: Erected in 1903, West Grove Meeting House is an example of a meeting house type that became common within the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting during the early twentieth century. Friends held an organized meeting for worship at West Grove starting in 1786 and the present building replaced one that had stood on the exact same location since 1787. While the earlier meeting house at this site essentially replicated a form employed by Friends elsewhere since the second quarter of the eighteenth century, the 1903 structure represented a design solution being tested at the turn of the century after nearly a century of heterogeneity in meeting house architecture. Here schooling, social gathering and Quarterly Meeting were accommodated in a single construction phase rather than being housed in an addition or separate building as in years past. Now, too, the partition used to separate men's and women's meetings for business was omitted, though joint business meetings did not actually begin at West Grove until 1919. Built to accommodate Western Quarterly Meeting, West Grove arose during a wave of quarterly meeting house construction that, by 1911, had also reached Concord, Caln and Haddonfield Quarters. The innovations apparent in West Grove also surfaced in these buildings to greater or lesser degrees. Yet West Grove is significant for the continuity as well as the change it embodied. In accordance with traditional Quaker building practice, the structure was designed and constructed by meeting members, and incorporated many materials salvaged from the structure it replaced.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N822
Survey number: HABS PA-6228
Building/structure dates: 1903- 1904 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1975 Subsequent Work