Item No: pdcf00306
Title: Wagner Institute Branch
Additional Title: View of a library event in the Wagner Free Institute lecture room, 1907
Historic Street Address:
17th Street & Montgomery Avenue, SW corner
Print and Picture Collection
The Wagner Free Institute of Science housed the first branch of the Philadelphia Public Library (established by the Board of Education) in 1892. When the Free Library of Philadelphia became the City’s sole free public library system on January 1, 1896, the Wagner Institute Library—as well as each of the other five Philadelphia Public Library branches—became an official Free Library branch.
The space for the branch was rented from the Wagner Free Institute. Although this lecture hall was not included in the rental agreement, it was made available for story hours, as seen in this 1907 photograph. The Wagner Institute Branch remained at this location until 1962. That year it was closed and replaced by the new Columbia Avenue Branch (later renamed the Cecil B. Moore Branch).
The Wagner Institute Branch served the communities of North Central Philadelphia.