Parkway Central Renovations Underway!

By Michelle S. RSS Wed, March 16, 2011

Ten years ago, the Free Library embarked on an ambitious journey to expand in grand new ways the manner in which it enlightens the city. Since that time there has been nothing short of a revolution in media, in technology, and in how society consumes information, communicates, and learns. In response, our vision for an enhanced Parkway Central Library has had to adapt as well. 

We will fully restore and renovate our current 84-year-old Beaux-Arts jewel, while building an addition to Parkway Central that will specifically address our facility and programmatic needs. This re-envisioning is not a retreat from the previous project. In fact, the project scope is not smaller in expense or ultimate space dedicated to the public. The plan is a reallocation of resources to focus on both expanding our campus and renovating Parkway Central, which will add 100 years back to the life of the building.

And we are excited to announce that the first phase of renovations is underway! With the support of two generous grants—one from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development and the other from the Annenberg Foundation—the Library will repair and improve the exterior of the building, including Shakespeare Park, and fully refurbish the Philbrick Popular Library. As additional funds become available the Library will continue to renovate Parkway Central for the enjoyment and enlightenment of our community.

As always, your continued support of this great Library system is critical in making it possible for us to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity. 

Learn more about our re-envisioned plans for Parkway Central in this video by the Philadelphia Inquirer:

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Nice to see Central get improvements while Holmesburg is still closed due to repairs & branch libraries still get emegercy closure due to short staff. All libraries should be treated equal;but I guess only the Parkway matters.
slightly miffed Holmesburg patron - NE Philly
Monday, April 4, 2011

Holmesburg and all the other 49 branches received major renovations and state of the art technology from the mid-90s through 2003. Parkway Central has never been renovated in its 84 years and we are now slowly starting to do so.

Funds from the City capital budget are used for repairs such as the need for a new boiler at Holmesburg. The City has limited capital funds and we cannot make all the repairs we would like to, though we make annual requests for these funds to maintain all of our branches.

There is a community meeting scheduled tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 5, at the Holmesburg Rec Ctr, 4500 Rhawn St. from 6 to 7 p.m. Library staff will be present to answer your questions.

We deeply regret the inconvenience the closure of the branch causes and hope to re-open soon.

Free Library of Philadelphia

Monday, April 4, 2011

Great to know that the Parkway's finally getting some much needed renovations. Since I go to school near that location, I patronize that branch nearly everyday. I have to say, the resources have helped me more times than I can count (computers, maps, etc). The staff is friendly and the HOME Page Cafe sells wonderful snacks. On a different note, I hope the Holmesburg branch will reopen soon. Although small, it's a vital resource center for the neighborhood. I make a trip when I can; as there are virtually no bookstores around the area, I can't count how many times I've staked out there over the years.
Alison - NE Philly
Saturday, April 9, 2011

Can you tell me how many visitors the Central Library sees annually? Thanks
Lesly - Philadelphia
Thursday, April 28, 2011

Parkway Central Library receives nearly 1 million visits per year.

Michelle - Free Library of Philadelphia

Monday, May 2, 2011

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