Falls of Schuylkill Library

Falls of Schuylkill Library is temporarily closed.

Tuesday, January 19 – Message from Staff

ATTENTION: If you received an email saying your hold is ready for pick up at Falls please email the staff at roxboroughlibrary@gmail.com. Please include your library card number in your email. Falls remains closed but holds have been transferred to Roxborough and we are working to get caught up. Please follow us on Facebook for additional updates.  Thank you for your understanding and patience, we hope to see you soon.

3501 Midvale Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19129-1633
Warden Dr. & Midvale Ave.

Upcoming Events

Yoga For the Library

Fri, March 12, 2021 7:00 P.M.

Join local yoga teacher Justine Bacon for a series of three online yin yoga sessions to benefit the Friends of the Falls of Schuylkill Library.  Yin is a cooling yoga practice that gently…

Virtual Chapter Book Club

Wed, March 24, 2021 4:00 P.M.

Do love to read?  Do you like talking about what you are reading?  If you do, then this group is for you!  Each month we will talk about a different chapter book, and do an…

Yoga For the Library

Fri, April 9, 2021 7:00 P.M.

Join local yoga teacher Justine Bacon for a series of three online yin yoga sessions to benefit the Friends of the Falls of Schuylkill Library.  Yin is a cooling yoga practice that gently…

Virtual Chapter Book Club

Wed, April 28, 2021 4:00 P.M.

Do love to read?  Do you like talking about what you are reading?  If you do, then this group is for you!  Each month we will talk about a different chapter book, and do an…

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.