The Carnegie Library of Washington D.C. is closed after mold was found inside the 115-year-old building on Friday.
The building opened in 1903 and has operated as a public library and museum over the years. Recent reports said Apple was considering opening a store in the structure. All that has been put on hold after mold was found, and officials ordered the building closed until further notice.
“We’re hopeful that a remedy to any mold issue in the building can be expedited so we can re-open to public,” said John Suau, executive director of the Historical Society of Washington. “We host exhibits in last year and a half. We’ve opened eight exhibits on the history of D.C.”
The library plays host to private events and is home for the historical society of Washington’s offices and museum.
“As we go in to conduct further testing, there will be collection specialists that will assist the Historical Society with the care and shepherding of those collections,” Suau said.
The extent of the mold problem is still unknown, but no artifacts in the Historical Society’s collection have been damaged. A spokesperson for Events DC, the government agency that manages the building, said they are in the process of conducting a complete evaluation of the property.
“We will perform any remediation necessary to make sure that the building is safe for our patrons and employees," said the spokesperson. "We closed the building out of an abundance of caution.”
Thousands of researchers and student groups visit the Historical Society’s exhibits each year in the Carnegie Library. The closure could delay a new exhibit scheduled to open this week.
“The new exhibit that was supposed to open on Thursday, we’re looking for a venue with our partners in the museum community,” Suau said. “As soon as we find that or as they remedy the situation in the building, we will premier that.”
The biggest event to be impacted by the mold and the closure of the Carnegie Library is the Historical Society’s annual gala fundraiser, set for Oct. 7.