Ten years ago, the Free Library embarked on an ambitious journey to expand in grand new ways the manner in which it enlightens the city. Since that time there has been nothing short of a revolution in media, in technology, and in how society consumes information, communicates, and learns. In response, our vision for an enhanced Parkway Central Library has had to adapt as well.
We will fully restore and renovate our current 84-year-old Beaux-Arts jewel, while building an addition to Parkway Central that will specifically address our facility and programmatic needs. This re-envisioning is not a retreat from the previous project. In fact, the project scope is not smaller in expense or ultimate space dedicated to the public. The plan is a reallocation of resources to focus on both expanding our campus and renovating Parkway Central, which will add 100 years back to the life of the building.
And we are excited to announce that the first phase of renovations is underway! With the support of two generous grants—one from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development and the other from the Annenberg Foundation—the Library will repair and improve the exterior of the building, including Shakespeare Park, and fully refurbish the Philbrick Popular Library. As additional funds become available the Library will continue to renovate Parkway Central for the enjoyment and enlightenment of our community.
As always, your continued support of this great Library system is critical in making it possible for us to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity.
Learn more about our re-envisioned plans for Parkway Central in this video by the Philadelphia Inquirer: http://www.philly.com/philly/video/BC826163562001.html