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Modeled after Versailles, this beautiful building on the famous Philadelphia Benjamin Franklin Parkway houses an incredible variety of historic, scholarly, and modern materials. "First imagined in the mid-1890s, begun in earnest in 1910, and not completed for 17 years, the Central Library building is a triumph of civic architecture and library science as well as a monument to the fortitude, commitment, and aspirations of the librarians, trustees, local politicians, architects, and general public, who persevered during decades of tribulation including legal and political battles and a world war." Specialized collections range from Pennsylvania German Fraktur and imprints; the history of the automobile; a treasure trove of maps, prints, and drawings; a fine library of choral and chamber music; and a collection of vintage theatre materials. The digital collections include: historical materials on Philadelphia, vintage postcards, and medieval manuscripts.
Walking tour: 15 minute walk