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


PHILADELPHIA, September 1, 2017—The Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to celebrate the centennial of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, home to the flagship Parkway Central Library. Together with our neighboring Parkway institutions, the Library will participate in more than a year of exhibitions, events, community conversations, and promotions, beginning on September 8 with the Parkway 100 “We Are Connected” Festival. The Parkway 100 celebration will conclude in November 2018.

The festival on Friday, September 8, presented by the Parkway Council in partnership with PECO, will offer 100 family-friendly activities throughout the Parkway Museums District, including extended hours and free or pay-what-you-wish museum admission that evening. Parkway Central will be open until 10:00 p.m., welcoming visitors to all of its departments and to special exhibitions on each floor of the building.

The Central Children’s Department will offer a special Build the Parkway program from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m., welcoming children and their caregivers to engage in architectural design play by “building the Parkway” using wooden blocks and LEGOs. This program is best suited for ages 3 to 12, and siblings are welcome. Contact the Central Children’s Department for more information at 215-686-5369.

Visitors to Parkway Central can also explore the following new and continuing special attractions:

Corridor of Culture: 100 Years of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway ¦ West Gallery, 1st Floor
Ribbon Cutting – September 8 ½ 5:00 p.m.
September 8, 2017–May 2018

This exhibition honors the Free Library’s home on the grand avenue that has connected Philadelphia’s City Hall with the entrance to Fairmount Park and linked the heart of the city to the natural wonders of Pennsylvania. The exhibition features photographs, artwork, and memories of the creation and use of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway over the last century. It explores moments from the history of the Parkway, touching on examples of the art, faith, science, and community that reside together on Philadelphia’s grand corridor of culture.


Mural Arts’ Monument Lab Installation ¦ Skyline Room, 4th Floor
September 8 ¦4:00–9:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 24 ½ 2:00–4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 27 ½ 4:00–9:00 p.m.
Sundays, October 1–November 19 ¦ 2:00–4:30 p.m.

On September 8, visitors can explore the premiere showing of Logan Squared: An Ode to Philadelphia, by sound and installation artist Emeka Ogboh, featuring Ursula Rucker. Part of the Mural Arts’ Monument Lab—a public art and history project taking place across Philadelphia in the fall of 2017—the project invites people to join a citywide conversation about history, memory, and our collective future. Logan Squared features an epic poem by Rucker over an original choral arrangement by Ogboh. Originally from Lagos, Nigeria and currently residing in Berlin, Ogboh transposes, inserts, and installs sounds in diverse locations to contemplate compelling issues surrounding migration, globalization, and post colonialism, among other topics. He is a 2014 DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) grant recipient, the cofounder of the Video Art Network Lagos, and the winner of the 2016 Prize of the Böttcherstraße in Bremen.


Virtual Worlds: The Parkway Central Library Rebuilt in Minecraft ¦ Grand Lobby

On September 8, the Library will debut a model of the Parkway Central Library in Minecraft. Much like libraries, Minecraft is a digital “third space.” While libraries often are democratic spaces where all may access the tools of knowledge to build new connections and construct new worlds, Minecraft is a video game where users exert similar freedom in shaping and reshaping their world. Across our library system, children often spend some of their leisure time playing the game on our public computers. In the coming months, staff will distribute the Parkway Central module to the rest of the library system and the world beyond.

A Tale of Two Sister Cities: Philadelphia and Tianjin ¦ Gallery, 2nd Floor
Through October 20

This photography exhibition explores the connections and differences between Philadelphia and Tianjin, China. Through 60 original images, displayed alongside materials from the Free Library, photographers from both cities reveal the street life, people, architecture, nature, and culture of these two vibrant cultural capitals.

Becoming the Detective: The Making of a Genre¦ Rare Book Department, 3rd Floor
Through September 30

This exhibition, part of We the Detectives, explores detective stories on stage, radio, film, television, and in board games like Clue. The exhibition features Edgar Allan Poe’s manuscript for “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” movie posters of Sherlock Holmes, first editions of Hardy Boys novels, and Choose Your Own Adventure books. Visitors should catch this exhibition before it gets away at the end of September.

Following the “We Are Connected” Festival, on Saturday, September 9, Parkway Central’s Montgomery Auditorium will welcome attendees of The Museum and The City, the ninth annual Anne d’Harnoncourt Symposium, hosted by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the University of Pennsylvania. The symposium is free and open to the public, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information about these and other events at the Free Library, visit For more on the Parkway100 year-long celebration, visit

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and the Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi, including neighborhood Hotspots; and rich special collections, including  those at Parkway Central Library and at the Rosenbach. With more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact


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