City of Philadelphia
Free Library of Philadelphia
Project Type

Phase III: Reimagined Parkway Central Library

Phase III of more than a decade's work with the Free Library of Philadelphia and Safdie Architects saw a vast repurposing of the six-story private stacks.  Kelly Maiello Architects executed the designs, providing documentation and construction administration for the newly opened spaces: The Robert and Eileen Kennedy Heim Center for Cultural and Civic Engagement, the Marie and Joseph Field Teen Center, and the Business Resource and Innovation Center.

Welcome to the Reimagined Philadelphia Parkway Central Library

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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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Section through Grand Stair Hall and Learning Commons
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looking west

Phases I and II: The Renewed Parkway Central Library 

Kelly Maiello has been working with the Free Library of Philadelphia and Safdie Architects for well over a decade on the phased renovations of its Beaux-Arts 300,000-square-foot 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, Kelly Maiello developed a new five-year, eight-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 overlooking the Parkway, renovations to the rare books gallery and creation of a sleek culinary literacy kitchen.  

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Main Lobby
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Skyline Room
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Culinary Kitchen

Rendering Credits:  Safdie Architects and the Free Library of Philadelphia