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.

Photo of Parkway Central Library

Support Parkway Central Library

Donate Now

Upcoming Events

Virtual Baby Storytime with Miss Mary

Mon, Jul 13, 10:30 A.M.
Parkway Central Library

Join Miss Mary for Baby Storytime on Facebook live (ParkwayCentralChildrens) Mondays at 10:30 am! Enjoy stories, songs, and fun!…

Virtual Messy Mondays

Mon, Jul 13, 1:00 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Join Ms. Naomi in making a big mess! Pictures and instructions for fun sensory play with common household items. Geared at children of all ages.…

Virtual Yoga for Children with Ms. Danielle

Mon, Jul 13, 3:00 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Virtual yoga class on Facebook Live ( ) for kids, offering a safe environment to play, explore and…

VIRTUAL - Your Nonprofit Career in the New Economy: The Campaign for You

Mon, Jul 13, 6:00 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Just a few short months ago so many of us felt at least a veneer of job security – and career maintenance and job searching were the…

VIRTUAL - Resume Review

Tue, Jul 14, 2:00 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Book a virtual appointment with the Workplace between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to have your resume reviewed! Email…

Virtual Story Club with Ms Scout

Tue, Jul 14, 4:00 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Stories and imagination are a great way to escape where you are. Join Ms Scout on Tuesdays at 10:30 am for a Story Club prompt and then check back…

View all events

Parkway Central Library Tours

Photo of Parkway Central Library

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.