The Athenaeum of Philadelphia Opens After Renovations

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia closed its doors to the public five months ago to undergo $1.6 million renovations. On Monday, November 7, the Athenaeum reopened its doors.

The Athenaeum was established in 1814 as a subscription library. It is one of sixteen membership libraries collaborating through the Membership Libraries Group. Its purpose, then as now, is to provide access to “general knowledge” through books, archival material, and special collections for research and exhibits, public forums and lectures, and congenial space for conversation and learning. The Athenaeum moved to its own building on Washington Square in 1847and is recognized as the “seminal American structure in the Italianate Revival Style” and one of Philadelphia’s first buildings built of brownstone. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

Major renovations to the site included enhancements to their exhibition gallery, updating staff workspaces, and refreshing the library and reading room with comfortable seating, worktables, book displays, improved lighting, and computer charging facilities.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia continues to nurture curiosity in members and neighbors by strengthening community through learning and discourse.

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