Item No: pdcf00137
Title: Philadelphia City Institute Branch
Additional Title: Exterior view of the Philadelphia City Institute Branch, ca. 1944
Historic Street Address:
218 S. 19th Street
Print and Picture Collection
The Philadelphia City Institute opened its doors at 18th and Chestnut Streets in 1855, principally as a library and reading room for area youth. In 1923, the Institute moved into a former residence, the Craig-Lippincott House, at 218 S. 19th Street (West Rittenhouse Square).
In 1944, the Institute became a Free Library of Philadelphia branch, shown then in this exterior view. The branch remained there until the building was demolished in 1955. On May 11, 1957, PCI reopened in its present quarters, at approximately the same site, designed to be incorporated into the first floor and lower level of a newly-built high-rise apartment building.
PCI serves the communities of Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, and people who live and work in Center City west of Broad Street.