Carnegie Library


Location: Washington, D.C.


Intent:  Dedicated in 1903 as the Central Public Library for the District of Columbia, the Carnegie Library was financed by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Designed in 1899 by New York architecture firm Ackerman & Ross, the library was among the first Beaux-Arts style civic buildings in the District of Columbia, predating the McMillan Commission’s vision for a Neoclassical capitol. Mount Vernon Square, one of fifteen major squares on L’Enfant’s 1791 Plan of Washington, was designated as the site of the building. After the central library moved to a new location in 1971, the building housed a variety of functions including an architecture school, city museum, and event space.

Apple, Inc. identified the Carnegie Library as a future site for a flagship retail store. The project includes an interior rehabilitation and complete exterior restoration. To counsel Apple and the design team on the complex entitlements process in the District of Columbia, EHT Traceries was retained to serve as historic preservation consultants for the forthcoming rehabilitation. Because the building is owned by the District of Columbia and located in the Washington Central Area, the process is subject to oversight by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the National Capital Planning Commission, and the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board, in addition to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Traceries provided extensive guidance to the project team to successfully navigate this complex process.

Client:  Apple, Inc.

Size:  60,000 square feet

Dates:  2016-2017