Falls of Schuylkill Library

Thursday, September 7 – Message from Staff

FLARC - Looking for the Falls Library Amateur Radio Club? Call the branch or contact us here: flarc@freelibrary.org

3501 Midvale Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19129-1633
Warden Dr. & Midvale Ave.
Open today until 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, 6/16 Closed
Monday, 6/17 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 6/18 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. *
Wednesday, 6/19 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed *
Thursday, 6/20 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, 6/21 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 6/22 Closed
  • * Tuesday has hour changes – preparation for the Juneteenth holiday
  • * Wednesday has hour changes – Juneteenth
Sunday Closed
Monday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Wed., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
  • Wed., Jul. 3 : Closing at 1:00 PM preparation for the Independence Day holiday
  • Thu., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Thu., Jul. 11 : Opening at 1:00 PM due to staff development
View all holiday closings

Facilities

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

Upcoming Events

Yoga Storytime

Mon, June 17, 2024 11:00 A.M.

Take a fun and playful yoga journey led by Sarah of Surya Moon Yoga! We'll learn individual and partner poses through songs and storytelling, all while building confidence, creativity, and…

Author Talk: Addie L. Robinson

Mon, June 17, 2024 5:30 P.M.

Local author Addie Robinson will read excerpts from her book, A Queen Like Me: From Rags to Riches, and inspirational, eye-opening and powerful read. This book takes a look inside one…

Fiber Arts Group

Tue, June 18, 2024 2:00 P.M.

Do you have a craving for a crafts group to meet up with? Would you like to connect, socially, with other creatives working on portable crafts projects? Are you looking to share your crafts…

Visual Playwriting Workshops

Mon, June 24, 2024 1:00 P.M.

This program celebrates drawing as a form of storytelling, guiding students through the process of creating a story from beginning to end using a blend of images and words. Over the course of…

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.