Carving details on the main stairway, 1926 Floral Motif on Column

75th Anniversary Main Page

About These Pages

The site is divided into 6 areas. These are reflected in the main menu items. Each menu item contains within it subsections determined by theme or function.

History The fullest treatment of the history of the Central Library both as an institution and as a building on the Parkway.

  • The Founding of the Free Library of Philadelphia, 1889-1898
  • Temporary Quarters and the Quest for a Permanent Central Library, 1894-1910
  • Initial Plans for the Central Library at Logan Square, 1911
  • Delays and Disappointments, 1912-1920
  • Construction of the Central Library, 1921-1926
  • Opening Day, June 2, 1927
  • The Central Library and Logan Circle
Timeline Presentation of information and images concerning the establishment and construction of the Central Library and related events specially formatted to be viewed in chronological order.

The Architects- Focus on the primary architects of the Central building; Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele. Pages about:

  • Julian Abele
  • Horace Trumbauer
  • The work of the Trumbauer Architectural Firm including Commercial and Residential projects, especially Whitemarsh
The Exhibition An online representation of the exhibit of documents, photographs, and artifacts that will be displayed in the Lobby of Central Library for the anniversary year.

Search- The search pages for the site are built on a relational database containing pointers to approximately 331 digitized images. The collection itself, as discussed on The Collection section, is very diverse in terms of media and format as follows:

Media or Format Type Number of Items
Blueprints 4
Books 15
Cartoons (Commentary) 9
Clippings 3
Engravings 5
Exterior views1
Floor plans19
Mechanical Drawings2
Photographic prints132
Site plans 8
Specific scans, media or format types and subjects can be accessed by searching the database using the forms on the Search page. The following searches or browse capabilities are provided:
  • Single Keyword and Title search
  • Multiple Keyword and Title search
  • Browse alphabetically by Subject heading
  • Browse by material or format type


Floral Motif on Column
Floral Motif on Column
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