The Historic 1770 Germantown Mennonite Meetinghouse
Germantown is the first permanent Mennonite settlement in the New World, and the first place Germans settled in the colonies. The 1770 Meetinghouse is a symbol of these new beginnings.
In 1708, a simple log cabin structure, the first Mennonite Meetinghouse in America, was built on land deeded to the Germantown Mennonite Meeting by Arnold van Vossen on the site of the present Meetinghouse.
In 1770, the current meetinghouse was built of local Wissahickon schist stone for the Germantown Mennonite congregation. The builder was Jacob Knorr, a local master builder whose other local work includes the Germantown Academy, Cliveden, the Johnson House, and the Union School (Pennsylvania School for the Deaf).
In the 1860's, the Meetinghouse underwent significant interior changes: the present benches facing the north end and a raised pulpit were installed. In 1908, a Sunday School Room addition was also added.
The historic 1770 Meetinghouse is no longer home to regular Sunday worship, but it is used for special services by the Germantown Mennonite congregation, and is open to the public as a historic site and museum.
In the 1930s, the Historic American Buildings Survey documented the Meetinghouse with a series of eight architectural drawings, viewable here.
Support provided in part by
Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust - 6133 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19144 - (215) 843-0943 - firstname.lastname@example.org