Saturday, April 2, 2016

GOODBYE TACONY LIBRARY...AT LEAST FOR AWHILE

On Wednesday night Joe and I attended the 110th anniversary of the Tacony Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.  Tacony is where I got my first library card when I was 6 years old.  It's where I volunteered for 4 years and then was the first branch I was hired for.  I worked there for 4 years before moving on to Northeast Regional for 8 years and then returning to Tacony for 6 months.  So it has a very special place in my heart.

Tacony is part of the 21st century initiative.  There are five libraries which are closing for two years and are being completely renovated to make them 21st century compatible.  Each one will have a subject that most of their materials will be on.  Tacony will be the hub for small businesses.

So there was a big party to celebrate the 110 years of existence and to say goodbye to the building as we have known it.  It was exciting, but also sad.

I got to see a lot of my friends and former co-workers that I haven't been in touch with for years.  And there was a slide show of the history of the last 110 years both in the world and the neighborhood.  It was very interesting.

When we were finished with the show, it was after closing time and the library was empty.  I took the opportunity to snap some shots of the place.  I know I will never see it looking like that again.

 It was last renovated in 1996 the year I was hired.  I began in September and in December Tacony closed for 6 months.  I was sent to another library to work and then brought back when it reopened.  These murals in the Children's Department weren't yet finished.  I would stand at the front desk and watch the artist paint them each day.  As you can tell, the theme was "Alice in Wonderland."

The White Rabbit


Humpty Dumpty

This is hard to see, but it's Alice and the Cheshire Cat.

The Children's Department.  The computer tables in the center of the picture are the Queen of Hearts' teacups.


Part of the Non-Fiction Department.  The glass cabinet holds very old and very rare books documenting the Tacony neighborhood and the founding papers for this particular library.

The beautiful skylight.  It was covered over  in a 1950s renovation and reopened in the 1996 renovation.  It is no longer open to the sky because of leakage problems.

The Adult Non-Fiction Department.  I spent a LOT of time in this room.
Tacony Library officially closed on March 31st.  It will be interesting to see what it will look like in two years.

Kathy

9 comments:

  1. Everything is changing! That's part of life but it's kind of bittersweet at times!

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  2. Love the photos! I agree about bittersweet. Just think...maybe one day your photos may be in an archive of history as well. Somebody has to record history...happy it was you!
    Enjoy your day! woof

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  3. Kathy, I am glad you and Joe got to go to this. Thankful for the pictures. Like you said it will never be like that again. I know you enjoyed seeing old friends too. Blessings for a great weekend, xoxo,Susie

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  4. wow, its beautiful,, my favorite place to go is our downtown library,, I go every thursday,

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  5. Aww, I wish they would leave it just as it is....
    Such a beautiful old library, lots of character and history.
    Hopefully it will look much the same, only with a few tweeks here and there.
    Thank you for sharing your celebration.
    Hugs,
    ~Jo

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  6. Thanks for the tour of the library. Good memories! I have library memories that go way back as well. Glad the library will still be used, when it re-opens, even if it's different. So many things are closing now because of the computer age. Sigh! Have a good week, my friend across the miles! God Bless you and Joe.

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  7. I guess times change and renovations need to happen. It's just a shame that most architecture is boring nowadays. There is no detail or true craftsmanship. Just boxes with rooms. I am glad you were able to get some photos. I would love to see what it looked like before the 1996 renovation.

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    1. Larry, here is a history page to go to that has pictures of the "old" Tacony Library. http://historictaconyrevitalization.com/2015/01/07/history-of-the-tacony-library-photographs/

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