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

CANCELLED - Movie Double Feature

Sun, Apr 5, 1:00 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Come watch these essential movies each Sunday in the Field Teen Center! Programs at the Field Teen Center are open to individuals ages…

CANCELLED - Pathway Forward: GED Preparation and ABE Classes

Sun, Apr 5, 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…

CANCELLED - Arabic/English Language and Cultural Exchange

Mon, Apr 6, 10:00 A.M.
Parkway Central Library

Interested in learning Arabic and helping Arabic speakers practice English? Come join our free cultural connections group, where we will explore…

CANCELLED - Teen Anime Club

Mon, Apr 6, 3:30 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Teens interested in watching Anime are invited to join the Field Teen Center Teen Anime Club!  Mondays in the Field Teen Center from 3pm-5pm.…

CANCELLED - Poetry Team Practice (Philly Slam League)

Mon, Apr 6, 3:30 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Don’t have a home team for the poetry slam? Join the Field Teen Center's slam poetry team! We practice on Mondays and compete on Fridays…

CANCELLED - Spanish Language Learning Circle - Beginner 1

Mon, Apr 6, 6:00 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Are you interested in learning Spanish? Have you ever started an online course only to lose motivation a few sessions in and never finish? Do you…

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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.