Jaspreet Pahwa, Director of Capital Planning and Construction, DC Public Library presented a virtual Preservation Café “Restoring and Reimagining Capitol Hill’s Southeast Library,” Tuesday, February 27, 2024. The presentation was recorded.
On January 4, the Southeast Library will close for a multi-year, $33 million renovation that will modernize, expand, and restore parts of the historic library, one of the oldest in the DC Public Library system. The work will go through 2026.
The Southeast Neighborhood Library was constructed in 1922. Designed by renowned library architect Edward L. Tilton, it was funded by American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. In March 2021, the DC Historic Preservation Board designated the Library as a historic landmark.
The library has served the Capitol Hill community for more than 100 years. Given its age and evolved community needs, the qualitative and quantitative improvements will expand the two-floor 8,500-square-foot historic structure to a three-floor 19,900-square-foot library, maximizing the footprint of the library above ground and below grade.
The modernization will preserve, rehabilitate, and re-interpret the historic site and create a new universally accessible public entry at ground level with meeting spaces.