Philadelphia City Institute

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

Closed Today

Sunday, 11/11 Closed
Monday, 11/12 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Closed
Tuesday, 11/13 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 11/14 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, 11/15 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.*
Friday, 11/16 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 11/17 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • * Monday has hour changes – Veterans Day (Observed)
  • * 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., Nov. 15 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Nov. 22 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Thu., Dec. 20 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Tue., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
  • Thu., Jan. 17 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
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

Music and Movement Storytime

Tue, Nov 13, 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, Nov 13, 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…

Teens Cook!

Tue, Nov 13, 4:00 P.M.

Teens in grades 7-12, please join us for a series of free, fun-filled programs! We’ll learn simple techniques for cooking healthy and…

Author Talk: Irene Levy Baker

Wed, Nov 14, 6:30 P.M.

  Author Irene Levy Baker will present her book Unique Eats and Eateries of Philadelphia and sign copies of the book, which will be available…

Baby Rhyming Time

Fri, Nov 16, 10:00 A.M.

Enjoy storytime with songs, tickles and bounces, followed by open play time for babies and time to talk with other adults! Please email Liz at…

Baby Rhyming Time

Fri, Nov 16, 11:00 A.M.

Enjoy storytime with songs, tickles and bounces, followed by open play time for babies and time to talk with other adults! Please email Liz at…

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.