The Free Library branch at Broad and Morris closed Dec. 31 to make way for the planned multi-use wellness complex being built by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
As we first reported back in April, CHOP plans to tear down the library and adjacent rec center between Broad, 15th, Morris and Castle streets. They will construct a three-story structure to house a new CHOP facility, city health center, library and rec center next to a refurbished playground that adds green space to a part of the neighborhood that desperately needs more.
It’s an innovative approach to city and health services, with funding almost entirely by a private entity. As CHOP says on its website:
The new health center will allow the City to expand its provision of dental care, prenatal care, mammography and a wide range of other healthcare services for children and adults. Additionally, integrating a health center, a library and a recreation center, will allow CHOP and the City of Philadelphia to create a complex that offers clinical care, wellness, prevention and literacy services to improve health outcomes for children and adults in South Philadelphia.
The planned opening date is December 2015. If you miss your neighborhood library, there are four others in South Philly, which you can find here.