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June 19, 2024

Juneteenth holiday affects options for cooling off in Philly on Wednesday

Libraries and many senior centers are closed, but several public pools are open.

Weather Heat Wave
Philly heat wave Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

A heat advisory is in effect in Philadelphia until Friday morning, when an excessive heat watch takes effect. Due to Juneteenth, libraries and many senior centers are closed Wednesday, but several public swimming pools are open. The photo above is a file shot.

Philadelphia remains under a heat advisory, with temperatures forecasted to hit 91 degrees Wednesday, but many public cooling options are closed for Juneteenth. 

Juneteenth honors the day the last slaves in the Confederacy learned they had been freed under the Emancipation Proclamation. It became a federal holiday in 2021, meaning many public buildings and services are closed. That includes many that normally serve as free places to stay cool in the summer. 

MORE: Man shot and killed by masked gunman in Southwest Philly, police say

The Free Library of Philadelphia, a first stop for many looking for air conditioning, is not an option Wednesday. All branches closed Tuesday afternoon will remain closed until Thursday. 

Many senior centers – but not all – also are closed. They are:

Center City

On Lok House, 219 N. 10th St.

Northeast Philly

Nativity BVM Community Center3255 Belgrade St.
• Northeast Older Adult Center8101 Bustleton Ave.
Peter Bressi Northeast Senior Center4744 Frankford Ave.

Northwest Philly

• Center at Journey's Way, 403 Rector St.

North Philly

• Lutheran Settlement House, 1340 Frankford Ave.
• Mann Older Adult Center3201 N. Fifth St.
• Martin Luther King Older Adult Center2100 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
• Norris Square Senior Center2121 N. Howard St.
• Northern Living Center827 N. Franklin St.
• Philadelphia Corporation for Aging 642 N. Broad St.

South Philly

• Marconi Older Adult Program2433 S. 15th St.
• South Philadelphia Older Adult Center1430 E. Passyunk Ave.
• St. Edmonds Senior Community Center2130 S. 21st St.
• West Oak Lane Senior Center7210-18 Ogontz Avenue

West Philly

• Firehouse Active Older Adult Center, 5331 Haverford Ave.
• Star Harbor Senior Citizen Center4700 Springfield Ave.

Southwest Philly

• Southwest Senior Center, 6916-23 Elmwood Ave.

Eleven city pools are open, including four that are opening for the first time Wednesday – Kendrick Recreation Center, Murphy Recreation Center, Fox Chase Recreation Center and Lonnie Young Recreation Center in East Germantown. Several other pools are slated to open later this week. 

Coffee shops, restaurants, stores and other privately-owned businesses are open on a case-by-case basis, so it's best to call ahead of time. 

The National Weather Service's heat advisory for Philadelphia extends through 6 a.m. Friday. An excessive heat watch is set to be in effect from 6 a.m. Friday through 8 p.m. Sunday. During that time, the heat index could make it feel like 105 degrees. 

The city's Office of Homeless Services has declared a Code Red for Philly's unhoused residents, but the city has not declared a heat emergency.