Our History

At its founding, the Friends were almost exclusively not members of the church and were solely interested in the stewardship of the 1768 building, its churchyard, and protection of the remains of nearly 4000 people buried in the Graveyard. That was and is The Friends’—now the Conservancy’s—mission. The Conservancy is an independent charitable organization, administered by community volunteers and funded by foundation, corporate and individual gifts.  The Conservancy is also completely independent from the religious life of the Old Pine worship community.  It is, first and foremost, a stewardship organization dedicated to benefit its greater community: local, regional, and, indeed, national.


In 1951 the Friends immediately began to raise funds. By 1955 their efforts managed to stabilize the structure and provide much needed improvements. In addition, it bought land and several houses on 5th Street from the City of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. It also bought a house on Pine Street for the church manse. By 1977, the Friends had inspired and partnered with other entities to develop the properties adjacent to the church and graveyard to accomplish their vision of preserving and protecting these historic cultural assets at a time when Society Hill was undergoing a massive urban renewal program.