DC's Carnegie Library Could Become Apple Store

It's been home to proms and weddings, and it's a repository of D.C. history. But now the Carnegie Library, built in 1902 on K Street in D.C., is expected to become an Apple Store.

Events DC, which manages the building, has approved a proposal to lease the majority of it to Apple.

That means a big investment in the building. "Updating it, renovating it, number one," said Max Brown, of Events DC. "Number two, we are going to create jobs."

This won't be the first time Apple has transformed a historic building into a modern store. Apple has hired the same firm to design the Carnegie store that designed its stores in San Francisco and London.

Apple said in a statement: "We are working with Events DC on an exciting opportunity for Apple in the Carnegie Library. The Carnegie Library's location, history and incredible architecture make it the ideal destination for visitors to experience all of the entertainment and educational services Apple offers for the local community."

The building opened in 1903, but it hasn't been used as a library since the 1970s. It's now used for private parties, and the Historical Society of Washington is in its basement. 

The area around the Carnegie Library is busy, with the Washington Convention Center across the street and packed streets converging on every side of the building. 

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But Events DC reassured neighborhood residents that precious green space outside the building would be protected. It won't become parking.

"Categorically not," Brown said. "The green space will remain green space. It's important." 

The new store isn't imminent; it will take about two years for all the details to be worked out, for the store to be developed and for it to open. One issue that will need to be addressed: Mold that led the library to be briefly closed in September.

The Historical Society, meanwhile, has a lease that lasts another 80 years. The group's executive director said he thinks the deal is a great opportunity for the society and the library.

Still, some said they will miss the historic feel of the building that housed so many precious memories. Kolbie Stewart had her prom in the Carnegie Library.

"I don't think it should be a store for Apple," she said. "It's a national landmark. There's history in this building. It shouldn't be an Apple Store. They can get go another store anywhere else around here."

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