Philly Block Project
Landmarks

Kensington Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia

This photograph was taken in 1956 of the Kensington Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Located near the York-Dauphin El station, the bilingual Kensington Branch serves Kensington, West Kensington, and Norris Square.

Kensington Branch was originally known as Frankford Avenue Branch, Branch Number 3 of the Free Library system. It opened on May 21, 1894 at 1856 Frankford Avenue. The name was changed to the Kensington Branch in 1900. In August 1902 it moved to an empty church building at 2055 East Dauphin Street where it remained for 51 years. In 1953, pending completion of plans for a new location, the agency moved to a small rented shop at 2508 North Front Street.

The current Kensington Branch opened on July 20, 1956. It was renovated in 1997 as part of the “Changing Lives” campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet service to every library. When you visit, take a look at the mosaic in the meeting room. It was designed by Network Arts and created with the help of neighborhood children.

Information via the Free Library of Philadelphia.