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

Friday, April 18, 2014, all Free Library locations are closed today in observance of Good Friday.

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 5:00 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...

Meet author Kathleen Wainwright - Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 4:30PM

Kathleen Wainwright is the author of the children’s book, Summer in the City, and a dedicated teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. She received a B.S. in education from Temple University and M.S. in education with a focus on literacy from West Chester University. She recently earned National Board Certification in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts (Early and Middle Childhood). She enjoys sharing her personal teaching experiences and educational resources on her blog, The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher ( Kathleen also teaches literacy courses to aspiring teachers at Temple University and developmental reading courses to incoming freshman at Delaware County Community College.

Open Computer Lab - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 1:15PM

Work on a special project and get one-on-one assistance. Lab is open 1:15-3:15 p.m..

This class is offered on a first come, first served basis and space is limited. Register in the adult/teen department 15 minutes prior to start of lab.

Teen Time in the Computer Lab - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:30PM

Join us for computer time geared just for teens.

This class is offered on a first come, first served basis for teens. We encourage people to arrive early as space is limited. Register at the reference desk in the Adult/Teen Department at least 15 minutes prior to class start time.

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

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