Walnut Street West/West Philadelphia Branch

Historical Images of Philadelphia Free Library Departments and Branches
Walnut Street West/West Philadelphia Branch

Item Info

Item No: pdcf00524
Title: Walnut Street West/West Philadelphia Branch
Additional Title: Interior view of the West Philadelphia Branch, ca. 1906
Historic Street Address: 40th & Walnut Street, SE corner
Media Type: Photographic Prints
Source: Print and Picture Collection

 The West Philadelphia Branch of Philadelphia Public Library, located at 40th and Ludlow Streets, became a branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia on January 1, 1896. In May of 1901, the branch moved to the Hamilton School Building, at 4105-09 Chestnut Street.

On June 26, 1906, the branch moved into the first of the Andrew Carnegie-funded branches, at 40th & Walnut Street.  This ca. 1906 interior image shows a substantial entryway and circulation area, the main reading room, and the children’s area at the far end. Note the ornamental bas-reliefs between the windows. A lecture hall seating 300 people was located in the basement, as well as toilets, a staff kitchen, supply room, coal bin, and boiler room.

The branch was renamed the Walnut Street West Branch sometime in the 1970s.  Located near the University of Pennsylvania, the branch serves the West Philadelphia communities of University City and Spruce Hill.

Creation Year: ca. 1906
Geocode Latitude: Geocode Longitude:-75.202584
Geocode Latitude:39.954112

Creator Name: Rau, William Herman, 1855-1920 - Photographer