Falls of Schuylkill Library

3501 Midvale Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19129-1633
(Warden Dr. & Midvale Ave.)
215-685-2093

We are now open Monday through Friday.

Storytime with Ms. Meredith in McMichael park will be happening on the first Monday of June and August for 2017. A different book will be featured each month! Spread the word!

Open today 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday Closed
Monday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Aug. 10 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Sep. 4 : Closed Labor Day
  • Thu., Sep. 14 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Oct. 9 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Thu., Oct. 12 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
View all holiday closings

Photo of Falls of Schuylkill Library

Facilities

  • Baby changing station
  • Book drop box
  • Computers for public use
  • Electrical outlets available
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Street parking (free)
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Street parking (metered)

Location

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Nearby Libraries

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Upcoming Events

Friday Movie Matinee

Fri, Jul 21, 2:00 P.M.

Join us for a different (family friendly) movie every Friday, on the big screen in our Meeting Room.

Science in the Summer 2017 - Science of Sports!

Tue, Jul 25, 10:00 A.M.

GSK Science in the Summer™  is a fun and free science education program sponsored by GSK and administered by The Franklin…

Science Tuesdays

Tue, Jul 25, 1:00 P.M.

We will have different STEM related toys, games, and activities every Tuesday - from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Wonder Kit Wednesdays

Wed, Jul 26, 2:00 P.M.

Explore our Wonder Kits and the crafts, games, and activities you will find inside.  We'll peek into a different one each Wednesday.…

Friday Movie Matinee

Fri, Jul 28, 2:00 P.M.

Join us for a different (family friendly) movie every Friday, on the big screen in our Meeting Room.

Science Tuesdays

Tue, Aug 1, 1:00 P.M.

We will have different STEM related toys, games, and activities every Tuesday - from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

View all events

About

Located at the intersection of Midvale Avenue, Warden Drive, and Conrad Street, the Falls of Schuylkill Branch has a lovely garden tended by volunteers. The branch serves the community of East Falls with a variety of programs for all ages.

History

Industrial activity marked the early history of the Schuylkill River and nearby waterways. Even before the fishery of Fort St. Davids was established by Welshmen at the Falls of the Schuylkill in 1734, other settlers were building mills along the Wissahickon and the Falls Creeks.

Don't bother trying to find the Schuylkill Falls themselves, however. The Fairmount Dam, constructed in 1822, raised the river's water level and obliterated the rapids. The area near the present library was a brewery from 1873 to 1894. After it fell into disrepair, the springs turned it into a swimming hole.

The first library in East Falls opened on June 1, 1901 as a Deposit Station on the second floor of the Old Academy, the first community center in Philadelphia. It was built in 1819 as a place of education and worship. Since 1932, the building has been used as a theater, and was the scene of Grace Kelly's acting debut.

Featuring English Collegiate architecture, the current library opened on November 18, 1913. The building was funded by Andrew Carnegie, and the land was donated by William H. Merrick and the Warden Estate. The library was renovated in 1997 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and ensured Internet access.

Atop the library, you'll see a catfish weathervane on the cupola. The preschool center also features a catfish. They are symbols of the thousands of catfish that thronged the Schuylkill River two centuries ago, when East Falls was known as Fort St. Davids. One fisherman in the 1830's caught 3,000 in one night with his dip net. Catfish and waffles were a popular meal in the inns and taverns that surrounded the river.

While you visit, take a look at the beautiful garden outside the library. It has been maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers since the late 1980's.