Flagship Apple Store for Carnegie Library Receives Key Approval

by Nena Perry-Brown

Flagship Apple Store for Carnegie Library Receives Key Approval: Figure 1
A rendering of the renovated Carnegie Library

Last fall, Apple unveiled its plan to transform the Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square into a flagship store location, and the plan just received a key approval putting it well on the path to becoming a reality.

This morning, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) granted approval to Apple and Events DC to restore the exterior and retrofit the interior of the building formerly known as the Central Public Library to create, among other things, retail space for Apple and office and exhibit spaces for the Historical Society of Washington.

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects will helm the renovation process, which will also make minor improvements to the surrounding Mount Vernon Square grounds.

Designed by Ackerman and Ross in a neoclassical style, the library was constructed in 1903 at 801 K Street NW (map) and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. The exterior, the Beaux Arts interior and the surrounding square all look much as they did when originally built.

Alterations, such as a rooftop addition over the original skylight and the conversion of the grand eastern reading room into a theater, will be reversed as part of the renovations. The north elevation of the building will likely have the most significant change in appearance, as the non-historic stair on that side will be replaced with a more grand, rounded stair. Additionally, a central pillar will be removed to enlarge the entryway, creating a frameless glass entrance below a multi-story transom with an embossed Apple logo.

The exterior will also be affixed with new signage, including 12 exterior banners, including two 6-foot tall vertical banners, one for each retail tenant. Other exterior modifications will largely be to ensure ADA-compliance. For the interior, several non-historic alterations made over the years will be reversed.

The partitions in the library’s stacks will all be removed in order to create a large open space. The original laylights in the Great Hall ceiling will be removed in order to create a retail atrium.

“This new space, which will feature a massive video screen, new wall openings on both levels, and circulation “bridges” connecting the upper floors, will significantly alter the historic layout and character of the interior,” a report from Historic Preservation Office (HPO) stated.

HPRB Chair Marnique Heath summed up much of the consensus around the project, calling it “phenomenal”. “A lot of the work will improve the building and bring it back to its original splendor,” Heath said.

While the board voted to delegate final approval to HPO staff, there are still some signage details that have not yet been resolved and were of some concern.

“If the banners remain the size they are and the number they are, it will be excessive,” Boardmember Joseph Taylor advised. Other signage options for Apple logo placement include a backlit metal panel affixed to the facade of the building.

The vote included a request that the applicant reconsider the quantity and size of signage and “be careful” with the Apple logo.

HPO previously concluded that the preservation benefits of the proposal outweigh the impact of any alterations and recommended HPRB approval. The project will also require approval from the National Capital Planning Commission.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/flagship_apple_store_for_carnegie_library_receives_key_approval/12745

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way
Real Estate Primer: Northern Virginia

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »