Carnegie Library Building (former) Renovation – Washington D.C.

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The Carnegie Library building in Washington DC was the District’s Central Library from 1902 to 1970. It was one of many libraries built with funding from the businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. 

From 1935 to 1938, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) refurbished the entire exterior of the building for the Library.

As reported by the DC Government in 1938: “The W.P.A. project for cleaning, cutting out, and repointing mortar joints of exterior marble and granite stone on the central building was started in December 1935 and completed at a cost of $27,717.50 and closed out on March 20, 1938. The entire exterior of the central building was renovated…

Were it not for this project, this much needed work would have been indefinitely postponed due to the in adequacy of the regular appropriation for maintenance and operation of library buildings. The library is grateful to the Works Progress Administration….”

After 1970, the building sat dormant for many years.  It has been used by many different organizations, with mixed success.  The building currently houses the Historical Society of Washington DC and an Apple Store.

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s
27000 27000

Source notes

Report of the Government of the District of Columbia, For the Year Ended June 30, 1938, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1938, p. 55.

"UDC Opens $4.2 Million Library, But Its Campus Not Likely to Be Built," Washington Post, December 11, 1980 (accessed March 11, 2020).

"Central Public Library, District of Columbia," National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form, National Park Service, 1969 (accessed March 11, 2020).

"Central Public Library (Carnegie Library)," DC Preservation League (accessed March 11, 2020).

"Apple Carnegie Library," Apple, Inc. (accessed March 11, 2020). 

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee - on June 23, 2013.

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Location Info

801 K St. NW
Washington, DC 20001

Coordinates: 38.9025, -77.0229

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