Philadelphia City Institute

1905 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-5730
(19th & Locust on W. Rittenhouse Square)
215-685-6621

Open today 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, 8/12 Closed
Monday, 8/13 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 8/14 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 8/15 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, 8/16 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.*
Friday, 8/17 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8/18 Closed
  • * Thursday has hour changes – Due to staff development.
Sunday Closed
Monday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Sep. 3 : Closed Labor Day
  • Thu., Sep. 20 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Oct. 8 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Thu., Oct. 18 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Sun., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
View all holiday closings

Photo of Philadelphia City Institute

Facilities

  • Baby changing station
  • Bicycle rack
  • Book drop box
  • Children's only restroom
  • Computers for public use
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Street parking
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)
  • Scanner

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Upcoming Events

Summer Concert Series | Hidden Treasure Jazz Group

Mon, Aug 20, 6:30 P.M.

Hidden Treasure is a band based out of the Philadelphia Suburbs for the last 13 years that provides a compelling blend of high quality Jazz in…

Summer Concert Series | The Dayen Hall Trio

Mon, Aug 27, 6:30 P.M.

A surprise jazz ensemble will perform, featuring TNT Tony Jones on Bass, Musa Mohammed on Keys and Dayne Hall on Drums, with special guest…

Herbal Apothecary Workshop

Wed, Aug 29, 6:00 P.M.

Join Katy Ament of Tooth of the Lion Farm & Apothecary to discuss the basics of using medicinal herbs throughout the seasons.  In this…

Book Discussion Group

Thu, Aug 30, 2:00 P.M.

Please join our book discussion group for Adults at the Philadelphia City Institute.  We meet on the last Thursday of every month, at 2:00…

Music and Movement Storytime

Tue, Sep 4, 10:00 A.M.

Dance, wiggle and sing along in our fun storytime for young independent movers. Siblings are always welcome at our programs. Preschools and other…

Music and Movement Storytime

Tue, Sep 4, 11:00 A.M.

Dance, wiggle and sing along in our fun storytime for young independent movers. Siblings are always welcome at our programs. Preschools and other…

View all events

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.”

A mural by noted Philadelphia artist David McShane greets visitors to the library. Commissioned by the Friends of PCI in 2000, the mural reflects the history and mission of the branch and the diversity of the community it serves.