3260 R Street Washington DC 20007 View Map
The design objectives for the Georgetown Library were to provide a state-of-the-art library facility that would meet the program needs of the twenty first century user. Set within the historic Georgetown community, this 80 year-old building suffered greatly when a fire tore through the structure in early 2007 damaging much of the original oak woodwork and historic elements.
M+J worked very carefully to restore the significant architectural details of the building and provide a setting for new activities. To achieve some of these objectives M+J sought to reintroduce the original reading terrace that once sat on the south side facing historic Book Hill Park. While maintaining minimum impact to the historic fabric, this allowed for the expansion of the building - accommodating the library program and allowing for a new public meeting room. Additionally, the generous height of the original roof provided the opportunity to add a third level that now houses the Peabody reading room and historic collection. The third level Peabody reading room sits neatly within the roof restoration under the new cupola and takes advantage of the views of Georgetown through the new dormers.
As a contributing structure to the Georgetown Historic District, the design for the Georgetown Library had a number reviews to undergo. M+J shepherded the design through an extensive series of neighborhood meetings, fully vetting both the interior design as well the exterior restoration design with neighbors and the ANC. Formal reviews took place with the Old Georgetown Board, the body that handles reviews in Georgetown for the US Commission on Fine Arts. Reviews with the Historic Preservation Office were on an informal basis, but just as rigorous as if the project were to go before HPRB.