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.
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 at 19th and Vine underwent major renovations in the summer of 2011 as part of the plans to enhance the Parkway Central Library. Shakespeare Park, situated between the Library and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is now home to new landscaping, flowerbeds, walkways, and light fixtures. The renovation of Shakespeare Park was made possible with generous support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development.
Mayor's Commission on Literacy
The Mayor's Commission on Literacy has returned to the ground floor of Parkway Central Library! Visit them in their newly renovated offices between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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.
We hope you come and visit soon!