Philadelphia City Institute

1905 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-5730
19th & Locust on W. Rittenhouse Square
Open today 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Monday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Sep. 5 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 10 : Closed Indigenous People Day
  • Fri., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 24 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
View all holiday closings

Services By Appointment

Services

Facilities

  • Bicycle rack
  • Book drop box
  • Computers for public use
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Street parking
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)
  • Scanner

Upcoming Events

Read, Baby, Read! Baby and Caregiver Storytime and Meetup

Thu, August 18, 2022 10:00 A.M.

Share songs, stories, tickles, and bounces with your baby, meet other parents, and spend time reading and playing together with other families! Meet  at the goat statue in Rittenhouse Square…

PA CareerLinkĀ® Job Search Assistance

Fri, August 19, 2022 1:00 P.M.

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance Meet with a Community Workforce Connector from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for one-on-one job search assistance. Get individualized support with…

Read, Baby, Read! Baby and Caregiver Storytime and Meetup

Thu, August 25, 2022 10:00 A.M.

Share songs, stories, tickles, and bounces with your baby, meet other parents, and spend time reading and playing together with other families! Meet  at the goat statue in Rittenhouse Square…

Social Justice Symposium for Teens

Sat, August 27, 2022 11:00 A.M.

Teens age 12 - 19, are you passionate about social justice? Are you interested in learning and discussing gun violence, media polarization, and income inequality?  Do you want to connect…

About

Located on the first floor and lower level of a high-rise apartment building on the northwest corner of Rittenhouse Square, PCI serves the communities of Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, and people who live and work in Center City west of Broad Street.

History

The Philadelphia City Institute Board of Managers is a non-profit organization that has supported a free library in Center City, Philadelphia for 163 years. The Philadelphia City Institute Library (PCI) has had three locations: first, in 1855, on the northeast corner of 18th and Chestnut Streets; since 1956, at 1905 Locust Street, facing Rittenhouse Square. Today, the PCI Library functions as a branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The PCI Managers maintain ownership of the premises and the assets; with endowment income, they also provide operational support and funding for augmented staff, new materials, and equipment.

The PCI Board of Managers’ object was “the promotion of the moral and intellectual improvement of young persons by means of a Library and Reading Room, Lectures and class instruction, and such other measures as the Board of Managers may adopt.” Weekly lectures by prominent Philadelphians and free night schools were important activities of PCI in its early years. Initially these were reserved for young men, but PCI soon decided to “extend the advantages of the Institute to females.”