Parkway Central Library

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

Open today 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, 12/8 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday, 12/9 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 12/10 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 12/11 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, 12/12 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, 12/13 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, 12/14 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.*
  • * Saturday has hour changes – preparation for the Music in the Air Fundraising Event
Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Sat., Dec. 14 : Closing at 3:00 PM preparation for the Music in the Air Fundraising Event
  • Tue., Dec. 24 : Closing at 2:00 PM preparation for holidays
  • Wed., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
  • Tue., Dec. 31 : Closing at 2:00 PM preparation for holidays
  • Wed., Jan. 1 : Closed New Year's Day
View all holiday closings

Photo of Parkway Central Library


  • Baby changing station
  • Bicycle rack
  • Book drop box
  • Children's only restroom
  • Computers for public use
  • Electrical outlets available
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Street parking
  • Pay phone
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Scanner
  • Screen magnify tools
  • Screen-reading software (JAWS)
  • Self-service checkout
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)

Support Parkway Central Library

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Upcoming Events

Pathway Forward: G.E.D Preparation Class

Sun, Dec 8, 1:00 P.M.

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

Movie Double Feature

Sun, Dec 8, 1:00 P.M.

Come watch these essential movies each Sunday in the Field Teen Center! Program for teens ages 12-18. Contact…

Sundays on Stage: The Nutcracker

Sun, Dec 8, 2:00 P.M.

Pages to Pirouettes brings the story of Marie and the nutcracker to life, accompanied by the enchanting music of Tchaicovsky. This Sundays on…

Holiday Concert with Philadelphia Freedom Band

Sun, Dec 8, 3:00 P.M.

Philadelphia Freedom Band, Philly's own LGBTQ wind ensemble and marching band, will perform a selection of Christmas and Hanukkah…

The Book as Art: Highlights from the Book Arts Collection

Now through Sun, Dec 8, 5:00 P.M.

While artists have illustrated books for centuries, an artists’ book is a medium unto itself. Artists’ books draw inspiration…

Once Upon a Book

Now through Sun, Dec 8, 5:00 P.M.

Who doesn’t love children’s books?  We all have a favorite book that was read to us as a child or one that we read to our own…

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.