The Arch Street Project was born out of a salvage archaeology project at the site of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia's burial ground. The cemetery was moved in 1860 and became private property. Over the years, the site was a hat factory, a car repair shop, and a parking lot. In 2016, during a construction project, human remains were uncovered. It quickly became apparent that many individuals were not relocated during the 1860 move. The remains were removed from the property between February 20 - March 13, 2017. Further remains were discovered in the summer of 2017 and removed by professional archaeologists. This website documents the excavation and lab analysis of the remains. The goal is to inform the public and to give a voice to the people found at 218 Arch Street. All human remains will be reburied in September 2023 at Mt. Moriah cemetery, the location to which they were meant to be moved in 1860.
On this site you will find the history of 218 Arch Street, the series of events leading to the excavation of the site, updates as the project progresses, and resources related to this project, archaeology, and human remains analysis.