Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence

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Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence
Editing Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence Oct 11.JPG
Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence, October 2011
Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence is located in Pennsylvania
Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence
Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence is located in the United States
Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence
Location66 W. Church St., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Coordinates40°37′7″N 75°22′52″W / 40.61861°N 75.38111°W / 40.61861; -75.38111Coordinates: 40°37′7″N 75°22′52″W / 40.61861°N 75.38111°W / 40.61861; -75.38111
Built1733 (1733)
Part ofHistoric Moravian Bethlehem Historic District (#12001016)
NRHP reference #75001658
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 15, 1975[1]
Designated NHLMay 15, 1975[2]
Designated NHLDCPOctober 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 US and also significant for its association with the botanist and mycologist Lewis David de Schweinitz (1780–1834).[3] It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975.[2][4]

Description and history[edit]

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 1741, is the oldest surviving structure in Bethlehem. The building reached its present shape by 1743.[4]

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.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  3. ^ "Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence". Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. A National Register of Historic Places travel Itinerary. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  4. ^ a b c James Sheire (March 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Gemeinhaus-Lewis David De Schweinitz Residence / Moravian Museum" (pdf). National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]