Renovations and Closings

Long Term Closings

The following locations are closed for an extended period of time. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Due to extensive building renovation.

Other.

Current Renovations

Kingsessing Library

Closure date: 10/14/2022

As part of the City's Rebuild Program, a historic investment of $400 million into parks, recreation centers and libraries, Kingsessing is undergoing a $7 million renovation that will include:

  • New teen and child reading area
  • New roof, windows, doors
  • Refurbished masonry
  • New elevator
  • New furniture, fixtures and finishes
  • New windows will bring more light into the space
  • New lighting improvements on the exterior and interior
  • HVAC improvements

Program and service relocation will be updated on this page and reflected below:

PROGRAM RELOCATION

Relocated, if so, where?

  1. Circulating books/movies/etc: Blackwell Regional Library
  2. Internet access on our PCs: Blackwell Regional Library
  3. Wi-Fi access: Blackwell Regional Library
  4. Printing / Photocopying / Scanning: Blackwell Regional Library
  5. Storytime: Blackwell Regional Library
  6. LEAP: Blackwell Regional Library
  7. Weekly COVID testing (Tuesday): no
  8. Weekly CareerLink tabling (Thursday): Blackwell Regional Library, Wednesdays
  9. Reference services: Blackwell Regional Library
  10. Food distribution via Rev Furlow is ongoing on the corner of 51st and Kingsessing
  11. Kingsessing Library will be open as a polling place for the November 8th elections

Paschalville Library

Closure date: 11/18/2022

As part of the City's Rebuild Program, a historic investment of $400 million into parks, recreation centers, and libraries, Paschalville is undergoing a $12 million renovation that will include:

  • New ramp at the front of the building​
  • Limited Use Limited Access (LULA) elevator for ADA accessibility​
  • Four (4) new ADA-accessible bathrooms​
  • New interior staircase for dual-level access​
  • New media station/study hub
  • Outdoor landscape design includes a story circle for children, a plaza, new plantings, and ADA accessibility

Program and service relocation will be updated on this page and reflected below:

PROGRAM RELOCATION

Relocated, if so, where?

  1. Circulating books/movies/etc: Eastwick Library
  2. Internet access on our PCs: Eastwick Library
  3. Wi-Fi access: Eastwick Library
  4. Printing / Photocopying / Scanning: Eastwick Library
  5. Storytime: Eastwick Library
  6. LEAP: Eastwick Library
  7. Reference services: Eastwick Library

Frankford Library

Closure date: 12/2/2022

Thanks to private funding from individuals, foundations, and corporations to the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation*, Frankford is undergoing a $5.5 million renovation that will include:

  • Lobby: new work counters with charging stations, new elevator
  • Second floor: expanded Children's Department with family restroom, new teen area, quiet study rooms, new furniture and flooring
  • Basement: renovated restrooms, lactation room, two (2) meeting room spaces
  • Building Exterior: new entryway, new exterior signage, new windows
  • Outside: newly planted trees

Your library card is accepted at all Free Library branches. Some of the nearest include:

Frankford Library will be open as a polling place for the November 8th elections.

Services available upon request:

  • Library card registration drives (with organizations)
  • School and day care visits
  • Tables / participation at community events
  • Joint programs with partners

Email us at FRKrenovate@freelibrary.org with any questions or concerns, or for updates about upcoming public engagement events, construction, and other information.

* Frankford Library's renovation is supported by William Penn Foundation; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program; Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Pennsylvania Department of Education, with funds provided from the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund; Patrick J. McGovern Foundation; and The McLean Contributionship through the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation.

Completed Renovations

Reimagined Parkway Central Library

The result of a visionary, decade-long undertaking, the Reimagined Parkway Central Library is now open to the public. This bold initiative has repurposed 41,000 square feet of previously closed book stacks for public and staff usage, resulting in three vibrant new spaces: The Robert and Eileen Kennedy Heim Center for Cultural and Civic Engagement, the Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRIC), and the Marie and Joseph Field Teen Center. Linking these to the historic building is the William B. Dietrich Grand Staircase, created with 14,000 square feet of marble salvaged during the renovation. Designed by acclaimed firm Safdie Architects and the largest renovation of Parkway Central since it was completed in 1927, this project has doubled the amount of publically accessible space in the building and set a new standard for what a 21st-century library can be. The Reimagined Parkway Central Library was made possible in large part by the William Penn Foundation's historic $25 million grant to the Building Inspiration initiative, as well as by the generosity of a number of private individuals, institutional funders, the City of Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

Pilot 21st Century Libraries Now Open

Four new 21st Century Libraries have reopened their doors, after receiving extensive modernization and expansion. These pilot libraries—Lillian Marrero, Logan, Lovett Memorial, and Tacony neighborhood libraries, as well as the South Philadelphia Library, which reopened in 2016—have been reimagined and reshaped to meet the changing needs of today's library customers. All have been fitted with warm, state-of-the-art spaces, including a vibrant Children's Library, a dedicated Teen Zone, and a customized Pre-K Zone, as well as a welcoming living room space. These transformed libraries are all ADA compliant and universally accessible.

Regional Research and Operations Center

The Regional Research and Operations Center, a state-of-the-art facility with a climate controlled environment, is the new home for books, journals, and other less frequently requested material formerly housed in Parkway Central's closed book stacks. Requests for items are placed through the library's online catalog and delivered to Parkway Central within 48 hours. More info »

Fourth Floor

Parkway Central's Fourth Floor recently underwent a stunning renovation, transforming it into a world-class meeting and event space with several conference rooms, an enhanced Skyline Room and Terrace, and a new Culinary Literacy Center and demonstration kitchen that teaches literacy skills through innovative—and delicious—cooking programs for Philadelphians of all ages.

Rare Book Department

The Rare Book Department has been renovated to include a new William B. Dietrich gallery for special exhibitions. In addition, previously unusable space has been re-purposed to create a climate controlled storage area for rare books, and the space that houses the Theatre Collection has been completely upgraded and refurbished.

Philbrick Hall

Parkway Central Library's Philbrick Hall has reopened after extensive renovations. Made possible by generous support from the Annenberg Foundation, the renovation of Philbrick Hall opened up 2,500 square feet of previously inaccessible space to the public, including the Hall's third floor mezzanine. The renovation features new seating, shelving, and window treatments in a bright new color palette; refurbished, original terrazzo floors; a restored, intricate plaster ceiling; and energy-efficient new lighting—all designed by Moshe Safdie Associates—allowing the historic grandeur of the Beaux-Arts room to shine through. At the same time, Philbrick Hall has been fully outfitted with the latest technologies, including a surface table, plenty of new computers, and video walls that display information about upcoming programs and other Library news.

Shakespeare Park

Shakespeare Park at 19th and Vine Streets underwent major renovations as part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Bridges Over 676 improvement project. The beautiful new forecourt to the Parkway Central Library has new benches, walkways, and outdoor lightning, and it is in bloom with flowers mentioned in William Shakespeare's plays. The library has hosted concerts and storytimes in the new space.

Music Department

The Music Department in the Parkway Central Library has reopened following major renovations. The project included dramatic new lighting designed by Moshe Safdie Associates, the world-renowned architecture firm redesigning Philbrick Popular Library, which will reopen this winter. The lighting, which increases energy efficiency at Parkway Central, was inspired by the original fixtures on the second floor. The renovated department also features a new color palette, a reading area, updated listening stations, and state-of-the-art technology like touch-screen computers and scanners that transform sheet music into MP3s. Additional restorations were also made to the original ornate ceiling plaster and marble flooring.