The Parkway Central Library is temporarily closed.

Parkway Central Library

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)

Library Tour Information

Library is temporarily closed.

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Upcoming Events

Virtual Thursday Crafternoons!

Thu, Apr 30, 10:30 A.M.
Parkway Central Library

Ready to get crafty? Join Miss Mary every Thursday at 10:30 am on the social media platform of your choice to find out what three prompts we…

VIRTUAL - Samantha Irby | Wow, No Thank You.

Thu, Apr 30, 7:30 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Cost: FREE

Follow us on  Crowdcast  to watch our event with Samantha Irby  live at 7:30 p.m. And be sure to register in advance!  In…

Philly Slam League

Fri, May 1, 4:30 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

The Free Library auditorium hosts the Philly Slam League, a weekly poetry slam competition for teen poets. All are welcome to attend the…

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Sat, May 2, 9:00 A.M.
Parkway Central Library

Need to get out of the house on Saturday morning but have nothing to do? Come join us at the Field Teen Center for some early morning cartoon…

Pathway Forward: GED Preparation and ABE Classes

Sat, May 2, 10:00 A.M.
Parkway Central Library

Join Pathway Forward and the Free Library of Philadelphia's Languages and Learning Center for FREE GED. and Adult Basic Education classes…

Pathway Forward: GED Preparation and ABE Classes

Sun, May 3, 1:00 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Join Pathway Forward and the Free Library of Philadelphia's Languages and Learning Center for FREE GED. and Adult Basic Education classes…

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Parkway Central Library Tours

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Building Tours:

  • Monday – Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • 1st Sunday Tour at 2:00 p.m.

Rare Book Department Tours:

  • Monday – Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

Explore the grand Beaux-Arts building which is an important part of Philadelphia's past and present with this specialized tour of the Parkway Central Library, which opened on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in 1927. The free tour, which begins in the lobby, showcases Parkway Central's unique architecture and history, while covering the many collections and services that make the Free Library such a valuable and critical resource to Philadelphians. At the end of the tour, participants will be given the option to continue their experience by joining the free, daily tour of the Rare Book Department at 11:00 a.m., which explores the history of the book along with some of the Library's most rare holdings.

Group Tour Request



Parkway Central Library Welcomes You [A downloadable self-guided tour]

Designed by Julian Abele, a prominent African American architect from Philadelphia who worked in Horace Trumbauer’s firm, the Parkway Central Library first opened its doors on June 2, 1927. As an anchor cultural and educational institution on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, we welcome over 1 million visitors each year from the city, its countryside, and around the world. Our patrons come to learn from our public events, to consult our special collections, and to tap the expertise of our librarians and curators in each of the subject departments and special collections. On most days, volunteer docents offer architectural walks through the building.