Falls of Schuylkill Library

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

Bike Maintenance Basics with REI Co-op - If you ride a bicycle, then you need this class! In this informative session you will learn how to lube a chain, fix a flat tire in record time, and make other minor adjustments to your bicycle that will keep you riding smoothly and prolong your bike's life. No experience necessary! Note that this is a demonstration class; please do not bring your bike. FREE Class, all are welcome. Wednesday August 30th at 6:30 PM in the Meeting Room. Questions? Call 215-685-2093

Free Rain Check Workshop - Monday August 21st. at 6:30 PM - Rain Check is a Philadelphia Water Department program that helps residents manage stormwater at their homes. Participants can get a free rain barrel and/or get a downspout planter, rain garden or permeable paving installed at a reduced price. Please register in advance: www.phillywatersheds.org/raincheck

We are now open Monday through Friday.

Closed Today

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

  • 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.
  • Thu., Nov. 9 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
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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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Upcoming Events

Solar Eclipse Viewing Party!

Mon, Aug 21, 1:30 P.M.

Join us for this special solar event! We will be making pinhole viewers, livestreaming coverage on our meeting room's big screen, and enjoying…

Storytime

Thu, Aug 24, 11:00 A.M.

Join us for stories, rhymes and songs for children ages 3 to 6 years old, along with an adult.  Siblings are always welcome Daycares, camps…

Bike Maintenance Basics

Wed, Aug 30, 6:30 P.M.

If you ride a bicycle, then you need to attend this workshop!  In this informative session you will learn how to lube a chain, fix a flat…

Storytime

Thu, Aug 31, 11:00 A.M.

Join us for stories, rhymes and songs for children ages 3 to 6 years old, along with an adult.  Siblings are always welcome.   Daycares,…

Storytime with Miss Meredith

Thu, Sep 7, 11:00 A.M.

Join us for stories, rhymes, songs and fun, for children ages 2 to 6 years old, along with an adult.  Siblings are always welcome.…

Read With Wally The Dog!

Mon, Sep 18, 4:00 P.M.

School age kids are invited to come read with Wally, the therapy dog, and share a new book or an old favorite.  Space may be limited.

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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.