Athenaeum of Philadelphia

We were honored to work with Kieran Timberlake to reconfigure and update the interiors of the member spaces, including the lounges, library, gallery and offices. The Athenaeum of Philadelphia was founded in 1814, decades before the advent of free public libraries. 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, as well as a congenial space for conversation and learning. Since the 1980s, the Athenaeum has also been celebrated for its world-renowned architectural archives, which provide opportunities to examine the rich history of our city and world. After outgrowing several homes, including inside the American Philosophical Society, the Athenaeum moved into its own building on Washington Square in 1847. Designed by the innovative architect John Notman (1810-1865), it is recognized as the seminal American structure in the Italianate Revival Style and one of the first Philadelphia buildings built of brownstone. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Today, the Athenaeum continues to foster research, learning and conversation, focusing its strengths and resources on the needs and interests of a community that is increasingly diverse and ever more vibrant.

  • Architecture: KieranTimberlake
  • Photography: Joseph E.B. Elliott Photography