Old Quaker Meeting House, Queens


Old Quaker Meeting House, Queens. Image 1

The Old Quaker Meeting House has been used by the Flushing Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends as a house of worship for over 300 years. The house remains today much as when it was first built, with dark, warm floorboards, simple benches and hand-hewn timber ceiling beams. To step across the threshold is to leave the present behind and to enter a profoundly sacred space seasoned by centuries of devotion. To those who visit, the Meeting House is a peaceful reminder of an eventful and historic past.

Built in 1694 by John Bowne and other early Quakers, the Old Quaker Meeting House is, by all known accounts, the oldest house of worship in New York State and the second oldest Quaker meeting house in the nation. Visitors to the Meeting House have included George Washington, John Woolman and William Penn. The Meeting House is recognized as a rare example of ecclesiastical architecture and as a monument to an important event in the struggle for religious freedom in America, the Flushing Remonstrance, a document which is perhaps the earliest demand for religious freedom in America. The Meeting House also saw the beginnings of the abolitionist movement and the first school in Flushing.

Old Quaker Meeting House, Queens. Image 2

The Landmarks Preservation Commission described the Meeting House as "a prime example of medieval survival in its proportions and framing system. It is a plain rectangular building erected on a frame of forty-foot oak timbers, each hand hewn from a single tree. The architectural interest of the building is derived mainly from its unusually steep hipped roof; the roof is almost as high as the two stories below it. This feature can be traced to the high steep roofs of medieval Holland….it stands today as a reminder of New York City's earliest years and of the important contribution to the City made by the Society of Friends." In its 1970 National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings, the National Park Service wrote: " The Old Quaker Meeting House …is the only surviving example in New York State of a typical 17th century ecclesiastical frame structure of medieval design."

based on the Official website page
Contact info:
137-16 Northern Boulevard
Flushing, New York 11354