Item No: pdcf00081
Title: Evening Home Branch
Additional Title: Interior view of the Evening Home Branch, ca. 1901
Historic Street Address:
25 South Van Pelt Street
Print and Picture Collection
In 1884, James A. McDevett was disturbed by the presence of unsupervised, homeless, and uneducated young men throughout the city. He formed the Evening Home for Boys, with the goal of providing a safe haven with mature guidance, fostering upward mobility for these young people through its Night School. The Evening Home Association building, located in an alley then called Albion Street, above 21st & Chestnut Streets, was designed by local architect Westray Ladd; the cornerstone was laid on November 8, 1884.
A year later, on October 29, 1885, the Evening Home Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia opened in the three-story clubhouse, providing 2400 books. This is a ca. 1900 interior view of librarians in the branch. Sometime around McDevett’s death in early 1918, the branch closed.
While occasionally changing to keep up with the times, the old Evening Home for Boys survives since 1972 as De La Salle in Towne, doing the same type of hard work it was designed for all those decades ago.