Apple Store Moves into Former Carnegie Library

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The library building, built with Andrew Carnegie funds, is at 801 K St. NW at Mount Vernon Square. Photo by Robert Devaney.

This Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m., the new Apple Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square will officially open its doors to the public. Apple has restored and reimagined the Beaux-Arts style building, which originally opened in 1903 as D.C.’s Central Public Library, funded by Andrew Carnegie.

While the process has provided Apple with its “most extensive historic restoration project to date,” the company has sought to preserve and honor the history of the building. Inside, the open rooms now feature wooden tables of tech devices and numerous decorative trees, creating grove-like tech spaces. Glass ceilings provide an abundance of natural light and white marble surfaces reflect brightness throughout the building, adding to the quasi-utopian ambiance.

But the facility is designed to be more than just an elegant Apple Store. It is a space to learn, “where everyone is welcome to come and discover all kinds of creativity, connect with new ideas, and share their stories.” In this way, the refurbished library will maintain Carnegie’s vision of an open and free facility, fostering curiosity and celebrating creativity.

It employs more than 225 associates. Together, the store employees speak 26 languages.

To mark the grand opening, the new Apple location will host a six-week “StoryMakers Festival” from May 18 to June 29. The festival will feature sessions led by noted creators and artists, in which participants will learn how to “express their stories” through photos, videos, music and design.

The grand opening of Apple Carnegie Library kicks off with six weeks of events. Photo by Katherine Schwartz.
Chris Braithwaite, Senior Director, Apple Retail, Design, and Greg O’Dell, President and CEO of 
Events DC, whose agency has authority over the property. Photo by Robert Devaney.
Tour guides remark on the architectural features of the gallery space below the main floor. Photo by Katherine Schwartz.
The library building built with Andrew Carnegie funds is at 801 K St. NW at Mount Vernon Square. Photo by Robert Devaney.
The west reading room is filled with natural light. Photo by Robert Devaney.
The main floor atrium — called the Forum — now joins once separated wings of the library. Photo by Robert Devaney.
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