Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence
Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence
Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence, October 2011
|Location||66 W. Church St., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania|
|Part of||Historic Moravian Bethlehem Historic District (#12001016)|
|NRHP Reference #||75001658|
|Added to NRHP||May 15, 1975|
|Designated NHL||May 15, 1975|
|Designated NHLDCP||October 6, 2012|
The Moravian Museum, also known as the Gemeinhaus and the Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence, is a historic house museum at 66 West Church Street in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Built in 1733 to house the married couples of the Moravian community as well as the community's place of worship, the Saal, it is the oldest surviving building in Bethlehem, the largest surviving log house in the USA and also significant for its association with the botanist and mycologist Lewis David de Schweinitz (1780-1834). It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975.
Description and history
The former Moravian Gemeinhaus is located in the historic heart of Bethlehem, at the northeast corner of West Church Street and Heckewelder Place. It is a 2-1/2 story log structure, covered by a gable roof and sheathed in wooden clapboards. The front roof face is pierced by six small shed-roof dormers, and the facade is ten bays wide, divided into two five-bay sections each with a center entrance. Its oldest portion, built in 1733, is the oldest surviving structure in Bethlehem. The building reached its present shape by 1743.
The house was original built by the Moravian settlers who founded Bethlehem as a home for its married clergy and officers. It served in this role for many years. It was here that Lewis David de Schweinitz was born in 1780; his father was a Moravian clergyman, and he also became an official in the church. It was his childhood home until the age of seven, when he was sent away to school at Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and was again his home from 1822 until is death in 1834. While at Nazareth, de Schweinitz cultivated an interest in botany and mycology, interests that he followed when his church duties permitted. He wrote a number of important early papers, including the 1831 "Synopsis of North American Fungi", that were groundbreaking in their depth and organization. At his death he was considered the nation's leading mycologist.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gemeinhaus (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania).|
- List of National Historic Landmarks in Pennsylvania
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Northampton County, Pennsylvania
- National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- "Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence". Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. A National Register of Historic Places travel Itinerary. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- James Sheire (March 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Gemeinhaus-Lewis David De Schweinitz Residence / Moravian Museum" (pdf). National Park Service.
- Official site
- Gemein Haus, 62-66 West Church Street, Bethlehem, Northampton County, PA: 12 photos, 10 measured drawings, and 1 photo caption page, at Historic American Buildings Survey