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Last stop at the library...

One final stop at the Parkway Central Library which we found nestled behind locked doors, kindly opened by our guide. I have searched online for more information to share with you, but cannot find anything - it's apparently a fairly well-kept secret. But our tour guide told us that a wealthy Philadelphian left his library - containing a glorious rare book collection - to the "Free Library" in Philadelphia, which eagerly anticipated this fine bequest. But they were told that Mr. Elkins wanted his library - the entire structure - given to the library.
As it happened, an architect named Moshe Safdie had built Mr. Elkins' library and had recently renovated the stacks in the center of the Parkway library to create more flexible spaces for learning and working. He undertook the challenge of moving Elkins' library - walls, floor, shelves, carpet, furniture, and fixtures - to the second floor of Parkway Central Library adjacent to the Rare Book Collection. So we have a library within the library, which includes a fine collection of first editions of Charles Dickens and hundreds of other fine rare books. In one corner is Charles Dickens' desk, and in the veneer of the desk are the initials "CD", which the author himself allegedly scratched there himself.
Here are some photos of the "library within the library". We were grateful to have the opportunity to see it.

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