City of Philadelphia
Free Library of Philadelphia
Project Type

For over 10 years,

Kelly/Maiello has been working with the Free Library of Philadelphia and Safdie Architects on the phased renovations of its beaux-arts 300,000 SF central branch located on Logan Circle. The goals of the Library are to house and display its unique collection in a modern, updated environment while respecting the spirit of the historic building.  Phase I initially called for a large scale addition and renovations to accommodate new technologies, expanding collections and the widening role of the library as an urban activity center. After a funding hiatus, KM developed a new, 5-year, 8-Phase Master Plan for integrated, phased improvements to the existing historic building.  Phase II involved the cleaning and restoration of the magnificent Lobby, a green roof design, development of the Skyline Room, which overlooks the Parkway, renovations to the Rare Books Gallery and creation of a sleek Culinary Literacy Kitchen.  Phase III sees a vast repurposing of the private stacks into a public Commons, Business Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) and Teen Center.

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Main Lobby
During our association at FLP, KM has exhibited unrelenting professionalism and dedication. KM has demonstrated versatility in supporting SA through the early design phases, and the ability to manage the design team and navigate the local authorities during the latter phases of the projects.
—Paul Gross, AIA, Principal, Safdie Architects
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Skyline Room
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Culinary Kitchen
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Section through Grand Stair Hall and Learning Commons
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looking west
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View of Ground Floor Group Informal Seating Area
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Teen Room

Rendering Credits:  Safdie Architects and the Free Library of Philadelphia