Open House New York!

Open House New York features Flushing Meetinghouse this year!

Open House New York (OHNY) provides broad audiences with unparalleled access to the extraordinary architecture of New York and to the people who help design, build, and preserve the city.  OHNY became an important platform for celebrating New York at a critical moment in its history. Following the events of September 11, when much of the city was closing itself off through increased security measures, OHNY offered a countervailing force, one that advocated for openness and access as key components of an enlightened and vibrant civic life.

Flushing Friends Meetinghouse Image Credit: J. Ewing

The Religious Society of Friends have worshiped at Flushing Meetinghouse for more than 300 years. The Meetinghouse 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 Meetinghouse is a peaceful reminder of an eventful and historic past.

Built in 1694 by John Bowne and other early Quakers, the Meetinghouse is, by all known accounts, the oldest house of worship in New York State and the second oldest Quaker meetinghouse in the nation. Visitors to the Meeting House have included George Washington, John Woolman and William Penn. The National Register of Historic Places recognizes the Meetinghouse as a rare example of 17th Century 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.

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.

Sunday Tour Info: Tours will last approximately 25 min.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED — more info and RSVP at Open House New York!