Item No: pdcf00332
Title: Mercantile Branch
Additional Title: Interior view of the new Mercantile Branch, ca. late 1950s
Historic Street Address:
1021 Chestnut Street
Print and Picture Collection
This is a late 1950s interior view of the new Mercantile Branch, opened on December 9, 1953. It replaced the cavernous, 1869-vintage Mercantile Library building at 10 S. 10th Street, which had been the branch's home since 1944.
The building represented a new trend in libraries towards bright, modern designs, and therefore has architectural landmark status. On the left-hand wall can be seen part of the mural titled "Reading Room," by Philadelphia mural artist Raymond Spiller, installed as part of the "1% for Art" initiative.
The Mercantile Branch served the Center City population, until it closed in 1989.