Central Public Library (Carnegie Library)

8th and K Streets, NW

The Central Public Library was built 1899-1902. Architects Ackerman & Ross were selected after a national design competition.

Located on Mount Vernon Square at the intersection of several vistas created by the L'Enfant Plan, this library was the first public building in the Beaux Arts style in Washington. Funded by donations from Andrew Carnegie, it was one of the more monumental of the 1,679 Carnegie libraries in the United States. The Washington Public Library, completed in 1902, served as the Central Public Library until 1970.

In 1999 Congress granted a 100-year lease of the Library to the Historical Society of Washington, DC. To this day, the library houses the offices, library and collections of the Historical Society.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964
National Register: December 3, 1969
Located within L’Enfant Plan reservation

Images

Carnegie Library, Washington, D.C., [ca. 1906]

Carnegie Library, Washington, D.C., [ca. 1906]

Detroit Publishing Co., Copyright Claimant, and Publisher Detroit Publishing Co. Carnegie Library, Washington, D.C. [ca. 1906] Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/det1994000941/PP/. (Accessed September 27, 2016.) View File Details Page

View of south principal entrance facade of the Central Public Library, taken from 8th Street, April 1969

View of south principal entrance facade of the Central Public Library, taken from 8th Street, April 1969

Credit: Leo J. Schmittel, NCPC View File Details Page

View of back of Central Public Library, showing narrow stack windows, taken from N.E., April 1969

View of back of Central Public Library, showing narrow stack windows, taken from N.E., April 1969

Credit: Leo J. Schmittel, NCPC View File Details Page

Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square, formerly the Central Public Library, 801 K St., NW, Washington, D.C., 2010

Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square, formerly the Central Public Library, 801 K St., NW, Washington, D.C., 2010

Highsmith, Carol M, photographer. Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square, formerly the Central Public Library, 801 K St., NW, Washington, D.C. 2010. Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2010641356/. (Accessed September 27, 2016.) View File Details Page

Street Address:

Mount Vernon Square, NW [map]

Cite this Page:

“Central Public Library (Carnegie Library) ,” DC Historic Sites, accessed July 27, 2017, http://historicsites.dcpreservation.org/items/show/79.
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