Free Library of Philadelphia
1.  Who designed the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia?

Julian Francis Abele designed the Central Library. He was the chief designer on a team of architects put together by Horace Trumbauer. The building was constructed between 1917 and 1927.

Source: Philadelphia architecture: A Guide to the City, 1994, p.101, John Andrew Gallery, 720.9748 P53A

2.  Where was the Free Library of Philadelphia originally located?

The Free Library of Philadelphia first began operating out of City Hall in 1894.

Source: Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City, 1994, p.100, John Andrew Gallery, 720.9748 P53A

3.  When did the building currently housing the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia open?
The building at 19th and Vine Streets, setback from Logan Square, was designed by Horace Trumbauer's architectural firm, and opened on June 2, 1927.

Source: GI Vertical File, Free Library -- Fact Sheet, March 1961
4.  When did the Free Library of Philadelphia open?
The Free Library of Philadelphia was incorporated in 1891, upon the initiative of Dr. William Pepper, stimulated by a bequest from George S. Pepper. Due to litigation over the will, the library did not open until March 1894.

Source: GI Vertical File, Free Library -- Fact Sheet, March 1961
5.  Upon what French neoclassical building is the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia based?

The facade of the Central Library resembles the Gabriel Palaces on Place de la Concorde in Paris.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.105-106, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f

6.  Where and when was Julian Abele born?
He was born in South Philadelphia in 1881 and died in 1950. Buildings he helped design include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Free Library, The Widener Library at Harvard University and campus buildings at Duke University.

Source: Philadelphia Inq. 03/27/2000, B1-2
7.  What literary landmark can be found at the Parkway Central Library at 1901 Vine Street?

The Rare Book Department houses “Grip,” Charles Dickens' pet Raven-now stuffed and mounted-which inspired Edgar Allan Poe to write one of the most famous poems in American literary history, “The Raven.” Grip was donated to the Free Library by Col. Richard Gimbel in 1971.



Source: Grip. . Philadelphia Oddities by Ron Avery. http://www.ushistory.org/oddities/grip.htm. 2005
8.  What is notable about the fountain at the center of Logan Circle?

The fountain which was designed by Wilson Eyre, Jr. and Alexander Striling Calder, was opened to the public in July 1974. It was erected in memory of Dr. Wilson Cary Swann, founder of the Philadelphia Fountain Society. The fountain consists of three main figures; the girl with the swan represents the Wissahickon River, the woman with the swan the Schuykill River, and the figure with the fish the Delaware river.

Source: "Philadelphia Squares" Phila.gov. www.phila.gov/fairpark/squares/logan.html

9.  What was the first library in Philadelphia?
The first library was a gift of 200 books made to Philadelphia's Anglican congregation by Maryland Bishop Thomas Bray in 1698.

Source: Weigley, Russell, Ed. Philadelphia; A 300-Year History. New York: Norton, 1982. p. 31