Central Public Library (Carnegie Library)

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
DC ownership



Mount Vernon Square, NW