Widener Branch, Free Library of Philadelphia
“All the patrons took time to wander amongst the shelves, pausing to look at a title here and there. This seldom happened at the old branch. Maybe it was the amount of sunlight, maybe it was the cleanliness, maybe it was the way the collection is more presentable and user friendly, but for whatever reason, the patrons showed a real interest in what was in their library’s collection. The New Widener Branch is going to have a positive influence in the community.” — Jeff Bullard, LSI, Widener Branch, Philadelphia Free Library
The facility replaced an existing North Philadelphia branch library that was too small to effectively serve users. It stands as a vital neighborhood resource, providing after-school and summer student programs and serving as a community polling and voting center. To reflect its community importance and give the building a lively atmosphere, the design includes giraffe-shaped columns, textured wall surfaces, and a bright color palette. The new building features a large collection space, meeting and conference rooms, new parking, and a garden.
9,800 square feet