Philadelphia City Institute

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

The Library’s lower level will be CLOSED from Thu. June 1 through Fri. June 9 for carpet replacement.

There will be a limited selection of children’s and teen materials available for checkout upstairs.

We look forward to reopening the lower level on Saturday June 10, as we prepare for a packed summer of fun and enriching programs!

Closed Today

Sunday, 5/28 Closed
Monday, 5/29 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Closed
Tuesday, 5/30 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 5/31 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, 6/1 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 6/2 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 6/3 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • * Monday has hour changes – Memorial Day
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 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., May. 29 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Thu., Jun. 8 : Closed staff development day
  • Thu., Jun. 15 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Tue., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Thu., Jul. 20 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
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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

Location

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Upcoming Events

Scrabble Fun

Sat, Jun 10, 2:00 P.M.

Join us for an afternoon of playing Scrabble.  Scrabble games will be available in the Teen Area, so bring your enthusiasm and word…

Meet Summer of Wonder Illustrator Greg Pizzoli at our Summer Reading Kickoff!

Mon, Jun 12, 6:30 P.M.

Join us as picture-book author and illustrator Greg Pizzoli shares his stories and artwork. Greg is the creator of Geisel Award winner The…

#WERQURVOICE

Wed, Jun 14, 6:00 P.M.

The Rainbow Experience: Radio Podcasting and Youth Making Media internship is premiering all three of their podcasts that talk about the problems…

Food for Thought: Planning Your Vegetable Garden

Sat, Jun 17, 10:30 A.M.

Don’t know how to start your vegetable garden? Come to this workshop to learn the basics of growing those home grown veggies that you always…

Craft Circle

Sat, Jun 17, 2:00 P.M.

Bring a favorite craft such as knitting, crocheting, quilting, coloring, or cross-stitch to work on at the library. A limited supply of yarn and…

Proud of Our Families, Proud of Ourselves!

Sat, Jun 17, 2:00 P.M.

Bring your family to share stories about queer families, gender identity and expression, and Pride month! Miss Liz and Miss Jill will share a…

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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.