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- Exterior view of front facade of library built in 1906 after designs by Frank Miles Day & Brother. A man stands on the entrance stairs with his back facing the camera., Photographer's imprint printed on mount., Title given in manuscript on mount., The Germantown branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia was housed in Vernon or the old Wister Mansion (also known as the James Matthews residence) from 1892 until 1906 when Andrew Carnegie's donation enabled the city to construct a new library on the property.