Item No: pdcf00130
Title: George Institute Branch
Additional Title: Interior view of the George Institute Branch, ca. 1928
Historic Street Address:
1461 N. 52nd Street
Print and Picture Collection
The George Institute was a neighborhood library, located at the corner of 52nd Street and Bible Way (just south of Lancaster Avenue). It was chartered in 1872 by the George family, a prominent Philadelphia Quaker family of Welsh origin. Dissolved in 1927, the library’s assets were awarded to the Free Library of Philadelphia, and it was reopened on May 1, 1928, as the George Institute Branch.
This early interior view (ca. 1928) of the lobby/lounge area and staircase to the upper stacks appears to have been taken before adapting it to conform to requirements for a Free Library branch. By the 1930s, this charming split staircase was removed in favor of a more practical one along a side wall (see #pdcf00131 and #pdcf00132).
The building is no longer an active library branch today, but it served the West Philadelphia and Overbrook communities until it closed on June 2, 2001.