Families relax at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting’s Skyspace

Sidra Isenberg, For Eastside

Opened in late 2013, The Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting’s Skyspace functions as a relaxing family attraction rather than a sweet-smelling spa. At the Skyspace, approximately forty people with yoga mats in hand are able to watch the sunrise or sunset, infused with special lighting.

Designed by the world-renowned artist and sculptor James Turrell, the Chestnut Hill’s Skyspace is only one of the several Skyspace’s found throughout the world. Turrell has designed Skyspace’s in destinations such as, Australia, Israel, California, Japan and Florida. The new Skyspace, located in Philadelphia, is the first of its kind on the East Coast, which makes it automatically a must-see destination for tourists and residents alike.

The Chestnut Hill Skyspace can be visited Thursdays at dawn and dusk and Sundays at dusk. During the sunrises and sunsets, viewers watch a unique light show for about fifty minutes. Due to daylight savings, the times of the sunrises and sunsets are constantly changing. The sunrise’s progressively become later and the sunsets do the contrary, as a direct result of daylight savings.

“The lights infuse the entire space with color, [it’s] just washed with color,” said Chestnut Hill Skyspace employee, Signe Wilkinson.

The Chestnut Hill Meeting’s Skyspace adheres to the standards of all of the Meeting Houses and Skyspaces throughout the globe. It consists of the simple design of one single meeting room, with benches and deep windows. Despite its Quaker roots, the Skyspace is void of religious symbols or figures, and is readily open to all other religions and beliefs.

The public has positively received Skyspace. On the travel website tripadvisor, the Chestnut Hill Skyspace is rated number seven for the top destinations in Philadelphia, PA. It received all positive reviews with only ‘Excellent’ and ‘Very Good’ ratings.

With it’s glowing lights and colorful design, the Chestnut Hill’s Skyspace has inspired awe and admiration in the eyes of critics, and families, alike.