Philadelphia City Institute

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

Open today 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, 1/15 Closed
Monday, 1/16 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 1/17 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 1/18 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, 1/19 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.*
Friday, 1/20 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 1/21 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • * Monday had hour changes – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • * 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 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Jan. 19: Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Feb. 16: Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Feb. 20: Closed Presidents' Day
  • Thu., Mar. 16: Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Fri., Apr. 14: Closed Good Friday
View all holiday closings

Photo of Philadelphia City Institute


  • 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)


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Upcoming Events

Author Talk: Judith Stein

Wed, Jan 18, 6:30 P.M.

Author Judith Stein will discuss her book Eye of the Sixties: Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art, a biography of the…

Career Moves Workshop Series: Resume & Cover Letter Writing

Wed, Jan 25, 6:30 P.M.

Please join us for a free four-part workshop series for jobseekers and all those who are seeking to enhance their careers. Wednesday, January 25:…

Can We End Homelessness in Philadelphia? A Presentation from Project HOME

Thu, Jan 26, 2:00 P.M.

Heather Bargeron, Community Education and Engagement Specialist for Project HOME, and a resident of Project HOME will talk about some of the major…

Teen Reading Lounge: An Interactive Book Club for Teenagers

Tue, Jan 31, 4:30 P.M.

Attention teens in grades 7-12! Do you like to read and talk about books? If so, you are invited to participate in a series of interesting…

Career Moves Workshop Series: Interview Prep

Wed, Feb 1, 6:30 P.M.

Please join us for a free workshop series for jobseekers and all those who are seeking to enhance their careers. Wednesday, February 1: Interview…

Preschool Open House

Thu, Feb 2, 10:00 A.M.

Groups and families with children ages 3-5 are invited to bring your children to our Thursday morning Open Houses. Kids will get a chance to: Read…

View all events


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.


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.

Featured Programs & Services

Public Transportation

Bus Routes: 9, 12, 17, 21,42,
Commuter Trains: Suburban Station is 6 blocks north of PCI.