You may have noticed a construction crane towering over Parkway Central Library today. That crane is lifting steel into place as part of work being done to the third and fourth floors of Parkway Central—including the Skyline Room and Rare Book Department—which are undergoing a year-long, extensive renovation that will modernize and increase public access of these spaces. This work, part of the Building Inspiration plan, is made possible in large part by funds from the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Here’s an overview of what the current renovations entail:
The fourth floor is closed to the public as it is being transformed into a conference and special event space, with several new meeting rooms and classroom areas. A state-of-the-art kitchen is also being installed so that the Library can offer hands-on cooking demonstrations and culinary literacy classes, in addition to supporting special events and programming taking place in the Skyline Room.
The Rare Book Department is also undergoing renovations to enhance its conservation and exhibition spaces, ensuring that its rare collections are stored in a museum-quality environment and also safely and artfully displayed for the public to enjoy. Additionally, the Library’s Theatre Collection—which contains more than one million items on the history of American theatre, early film, and popular entertainment—will have 4,500 square feet of storage space fitted with modern preservation systems. During these renovations, the Rare Book Department remains open to the public, though the Theatre Collection is inaccessible.
We’re excited to be restoring and modernizing our historic Parkway Central Library! Continue to check back on the blog for updates as renovations progress.