Sign In or Register here


New Public Libraries Are Some of the Best Buildings in DC - Source Washingtonian

Posted on Mar 19,2019
Filed Under News , Community,
Share  


Clockwise from upper left, the Francis A. Gregory, Bellevue, Cleveland Park, and Tenley/Friendship libraries. Photograph of Gregory by Eric Taylor Photography; of Bellevue by Jeff Sauers; bottom photographs by Evy Mages.

Source Washingtonian

BY DAN REED

WASHINGTON, DC. - I recently spent a Saturday afternoon checking out a swanky new building in Cleveland Park. Its sleek exterior—all glass, brick, and limestone—strikes a bold profile in a neighborhood not exactly known for contemporary architecture. Inside, light pours into the lobby, which is lined with white marble and rich wood panels. A row of plush armchairs is arranged below hanging lights, recalling a third-wave coffee shop more than a public institution. A graceful staircase leads to a roof deck overlooking a plaza, where rain gardens are filled with lush plants.

Did I mention there are books, too? This luxurious space is actually the new Cleveland Park Library, which opened on Connecticut Avenue last summer. It’s one of a slew of new libraries that have cropped up in the District over the past decade, as the city has undertaken a project to renovate or rebuild each of its 24 branches.

The initiative has already paid off with a series of striking designs that have added to the character of their neighborhoods. The Tenley-Friendship Library, with its distinctive rust-orange fins, offers upper Wisconsin Avenue a shot of color. The Woodridge Library, on Hamlin Street, Northeast, has a white-webbed roof deck that doubles as an unlikely concert venue. The West End Library, at 23rd and L, Northwest, has a vast street-side reading room that feels like an indoor town square. And the Francis A. Gregory and Bellevue branches have given local architecture a shot of star power, as they were designed by David Adjaye, who also oversaw the National Museum of African American History & Culture. Public buildings, Adjaye once said, “should offer places for people to see beautiful things.”

Source Washingtonian



Loading Loading..


Shopping and Services Guide


Exclusive deals from the best locals!

Browse our highlighted partners
Spas, retailers, restaurants and…
so much more.