For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

Parkway Central Library Hosts Mayor for City’s First Green Roof

PHILADELPHIA, September 25, 2008—On the morning of Monday, September 29, 2008, Mayor Michael A. Nutter will cut a green ribbon and officially unveil the Parkway Central Library’s new green roof demonstration project. Encompassing 5,000 square feet on the south side of the building facing Logan Square, the green roof includes 100 cubic feet of soil and more than 5,400 plants. The Library’s green roof demonstration represents the first green roof on a city-owned building and is part of the Mayor’s initiative to make Philadelphia one of the greenest cities in the country. “I want to commend all of those involved in making this vision a reality,” commented Mayor Nutter. “This project is another example to cities across the country of what can happen when many different sectors – government, business and non-profits – work in partnership towards a common goal.”

Joining the Mayor in the celebration will be Leslie Anne Miller, First Vice Chair of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation Board of Directors; Jeffrey Gordon, Manager of Corporate Relations at PECO; Michael DiBerardinis, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Linda E. Johnson, CEO of the Free Library Foundation; and Siobhan A. Reardon, the new Director and President of the Free Library.

With several unique layers designed specifically for insulation, drainage, and waterproofing, green roofs offer energy-saving and environmental benefits by improving air quality, reducing runoff to city sewer systems, and keeping buildings cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In addition to eco-friendly and cost-saving features, green roofs also offer an aesthetic improvement over conventional blacktop roofs. Several species of plants will now call Parkway Central’s roof their home. From white stonecrop and blue spruce to blue cadet and prairie dropseed, the plants were chosen for their combined benefits of requiring little maintenance and being able to withstand severe weather conditions—many of the plants are drought tolerant. The demonstration space will feature a pathway to allow the public to experience the green roof up close; signage features information on the variety of plants.

The Library’s green roof was designed by Moshe Safdie and Associates, the Library’s nationally-renowned architect of the Parkway Central Library’s expansion project. Sustainability and green building practices are being incorporated into the new 180,000 square-foot addition, and the Library is seeking a silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation for the new building. The project team also includes Kelly Maiello, Architects; Peter Phillippi, Green Roof Specialist; U.S. Roofing; Galbally Landscaping; Lager Raabe Skafte Landscape Architects; Fredda Lippes, the City’s lead coordinator; and Jim Pecora, Free Library Project Manager.

The green roof was made possible through generous support from H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest; PECO; the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; and Quita W. Horan.

Project Team: Moshe Safdie and Associates, Architects; Kelly Maiello, Architects; Lager Raabe Skafte Landscape Architects; Peter Philippi, Green Roof Services, LLC; U.S. Roofing; Galbally Landscaping; Jim Pecora, Free Library Project Manager; and Fredda Lippes, the City’s lead project coordinator.

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than six million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely-used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850