Item No: pdcf00206
Title: John Wanamaker Branch
Additional Title: Interior view of the John Wanamaker Branch, ca. 1904
Historic Street Address:
2123 South Street
Print and Picture Collection
John Wanamaker commissioned the building of the John Wanamaker Branch, designed by architect John T. Windrim, at 2123-27 South Street, in 1903. The branch opened on December 15, 1904. The building was "rented" to the Free Library of Philadelphia for $1.00/year, a sum never collected.
The interior consisted of the main reading room on the first level, the second floor was a gallery, and a third floor had staff rooms and storage. Since any branch of the Free Library was required to include a lecture room, the Bethany Brotherhood House next door (also built by Wanamaker a few years earlier) shared its public meeting room with the library. This ca. 1904 interior view highlights the circulation desk on the main floor.
The Wanamaker Branch closed in 1932, with the termination of the lease, when the Wanamaker estate was settled. It served the Rittenhouse Square/Southwest Center City area.