Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Lib

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Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Lib
125 South 52nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139- 3408
(West Phila. Regional 52nd & Sansom Sts.)
This branch is handicapped accessibleHandicapped Accessible

There is a Book Drop at this Location

Call Adult/Teen: 215-685-7433/Children's: 215-685-7422 Map/Directions Upcoming Events


1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Public Transportation

Bus Routes: 21, 30, 31, 42, 52
Subway Surface: Market-Frankford El: 52nd Street stop

For bus/train schedules visit SEPTA

Branch History

In 1677, William Warner purchased land from the local Native Americans and settled in the vicinity of 45th Street and Westminster Streets. He named the area Blockley after his home parish in England. Blockley became one of thirteen original townships in the city.

In 1840, the Borough of West Philadelphia was incorporated and later upgraded to the West Philadelphia District. By 1866, the Chestnut Street Bridge opened and railroad cars drawn by horses brought passengers as far as the corner of 41st and Chestnut Streets. It was not until 1904 that the line was extended to 45th Street and later to 61st Street. By 1904, Chestnut was paved as far as 46th Street, and further on it was a dirt road. Cornfields grew beyond present-day 53rd Street.

After the Market Street Elevated train opened in 1907, West Philadelphia rapidly urbanized and was significantly developed by World War II. Paul Robeson, world-renowned African American singer and actor, lived his retirement years on Walnut Street near 50th Street, a few blocks from the library.

The West Philadelphia Regional Library opened on October 21, 1976 - the second regional library in the city, providing West Philadelphia with a larger collection of books, magazines and newspapers than neighborhood branches. Designed by architect William Mann, the library was built on the site of the Rivoli Theatre.

The library was renovated in 1998 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet service to every library. The building was renamed the Lucien E. Blackwell/West Philadelphia Regional library in 2004 after Lucien Blackwell, a former congressman, city council member, state legislator and local activist who died in 2003.

The library is located on 52nd Street, the major commercial and shopping district of West Philadelphia. When you visit, look in the adult room for the large, colorful mural by George Beach, entitled Knowledge.

Spotlight On...

The LEAP Afterschool Program offers free homework help,and literacy building skills
Tuesdays and Wednesday, : 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Thursdays and Fridays: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Class and Group Visits to the Library
Visits for students & groups welcome. Teachers, day care instructors and youth leaders please call 215-685-7422 to schedule a library orientation, or a program.
Ongoing throughout the year
What is a magnetic force field? Why does a compass always point north? How does a light switch work? GSK Science in the Summerâ„¢ will help Philadelphia students answer these questions.
Saturdays, July 11 & 18 (online signup only begins 5/4/15)

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