Chestnut Hill Library

Chestnut Hill Library is temporarily closed.

Monday, January 16 – Message from Staff

Hello Chestnut Hill Library Friends, Patrons, and Community Members! Ceiling repairs to the Children’s Department are well underway, however replacing the lighting has necessitated upgrading the wiring in the Children’s Department. New plans were drafted and permits obtained, but this has of course impacted the timeline for re-opening. We are now estimating a Re-Opening date sometime in early to mid-March 2023. Please continue to check our branch page and social media accounts for progress updates and information on Re-Opening plans. While the costs of these repairs are covered by the Free Library, the Chestnut Hill Branch and Friends Group are seeking funding for refreshing the flooring, furniture and materials damaged during the collapse. Please consider visiting our donation link to make a much appreciated contribution towards our Re-Opening costs!

 

Friday, December 23 – Message from Staff

 

Hello Chestnut Hill Library Patrons!

Here’s an update on repairs.  Just to re-cap…In mid-November the ceiling in the Children’s department collapsed.  Due to the condition of the building, the library was only open for Materials Pickup but no in-person services, and then closed completely later in December. After a careful inspection, it was determined that animals in the ceiling had caused damage to the HVAC insulation, which caused the leak. Several repairs need to take place including, replacing the HVAC insulation, cloth wiring, new lighting units, smoke detection system and of course the ceiling and flooring.  This has gone from an estimated $19K repair to now approximately $75K, without including the cost of the flooring and carpeting.  There is a possibility that all repairs will be completed and we can re-open to the public by the end of January but it is impossible to guarantee a specific date. 

If you had materials on hold, prior to our closing, they have been physically moved to the nearby Lovett branch.  Please check back for updates; we are planning for robust programming mid-Winter and Spring. Thank you so much for your patience. 

 

8711 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118-2716
Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike

Upcoming Events

Textile Crafters Club

Tue, February 7, 2023 1:00 P.M.

Yarn, handwork, sewing and other textile crafters are welcome to socialize, create, learn, and share ideas techniques, and community project opportunities.  The group will be led by Ms.…

Textile Crafters Club

Tue, April 4, 2023 1:00 P.M.

Yarn, handwork, sewing and other textile crafters are welcome to socialize, create, learn, and share ideas techniques, and community project opportunities.  The group will be led by Ms.…

Textile Crafters Club

Tue, May 2, 2023 1:00 P.M.

Yarn, handwork, sewing and other textile crafters are welcome to socialize, create, learn, and share ideas techniques, and community project opportunities.  The group will be led by Ms.…

About

Located a half-block north of Bethlehem Pike in the middle of a lovely garden, the library is just beyond the end of the 23 route. facebook.com/FLPChestnutHill/

History

The first inhabitants of the Chestnut Hill area were the Delaware Indians. One of their leaders, Chief Tedyuscung, is immortalized in a statue in nearby Fairmount Park overlooking Wissahickon Creek. The Indians sold this section of their territory to William Penn on July 14, 1683.

The area's first white settlers were religious dissenters from Holland who were attracted to Penns Woods by the tolerance of its gentle leader. The name Chestnut Hill first appeared in a deed of 1711. Although there were no more Chestnut trees on the hill than anywhere else, the now almost extinct trees gave the town its name.

To serve the schools and the community, philanthropist Henry Williams built the Christian Hall Library in 1872 at 8711 Germantown Avenue. Williams named the library Christian Hall because he did not wish anything to go on in the two-story building and subsequent annex that would be inconsistent with the word "Christian." Singing, elocution classes, magic lantern shows, art lectures, church fairs and temperance meetings were permitted.

At first the library was only a reading room, and books were issued only to subscribers. But after 1876, Mr. Williams was persuaded to allow anyone to take books without charge. In 1897, the trustees of the Christian Hall Library decided that the library would be of greater benefit to the community as a branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and so they granted the grounds to the city.

A new library building was built in 1907, funded by Andrew Carnegie and on the same site as the Christian Hall Library. In 1991, a modern meeting room addition was added. The library was renovated in 1999 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which brought Internet service to every branch. Active support is provided by the Friends of the Chestnut Hill Library, founded in the 1970s.