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A trip to the library

One thing I take for granted is the public library system, but it wasn't always so. "Back in the day", library membership cost money. The "Free Library" in Philadelphia (now known as Parkway Central Library) was an innovation, allowing people to come and browse, read, and check out books at no cost. It opened in 1927, and it is an impressive building indeed, designed by Julian Abele, a prominent black architect who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Among his notable works is the chapel at Duke University in Durham NC, another architectural marvel. 

The intricate detail is of the ceilings are different in each of the many different sections of the library.

The marble floors and walls are a thing of beauty.

There is magnificent art work throughout, giving the library "museum quality".

During World War II, the port of Philadelphia was felt to be at risk for enemy bombs, so the beautiful skylights were painted over to prevent light from making the library an easy target.

The paint used to paint the skylight was full of toxic material such as lead, so the cost of restoring them is phenomenal.

Someone in the library ensured that the home team received a place of honor! Go Phillies!
In the section devoted to music, it is possible for patrons to check out musical instruments such as a cello or violin. Other branches of the library have sections for checking out unusual items. Have a friend who's a fan of Micky Mouse and you want to bake a Micky Mouse cake for his birthday? You can check out a cake pan that will allow you to do so without cluttering up your kitchen for years with a pan you'll only use once!

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