Wednesday, December 24, 2008

ground broken for the new library

where the front steps will be, the before picture

ground was broken last week on the new Anacostia Neighborhood Library on Good Hope Road, and the word from the top is that it should open in Spring of 2010. Here's to hoping that some real progress gets underway soon!

Reminder: this was the original "final" design:

clean lines, bold tower

and here is the more busy / less appealing design they surprised us with more recently:

distracting signage, minimized tower, less bold

if, like me, you'd like to see the beacon "tower of light" regain its prominence, the design get back its clean lines, and a flag to be raised saying that our community really cares about this new neighborhood asset, please send an email to the team by Clicking Here. (customize as you wish, and don't forget to fill in your name at the bottom)

We only have one chance to get this right.

photo by DG-rad


Anonymous said...

Wow! I love the letter. I agree that less is more. I hope they take everyone's suggestions into consideration.

Anonymous said...

Cool! I love the design, but just hope it doesn't appear dated in a few years.

Anonymous said...

We have received several emails from residents concerning the design of the Anacostia Neighborhood Library. Specifically, these emails expressed concern about a change in the tower design. Though the tower has undergone some changes, the original design was never all glass. It was a perforated metal panel that gave a sense of transparency similar to glass.

There are a number of oversight boards and commissions in the District of Columbia that review and comment on building design throughout the city. The Anacostia Neighborhood Library is subject to review by the US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA).

The re-design of the tower is due to comments by CFA which originally wanted the tower removed altogether.
The CFA stated that they did not like such a horizontal building having a vertical presence. As a compromise, the Library scaled back the overall height of the tower, moved the tower location back (further from Good Hope) and changed the tower materials (to a more open, louver-like material). The alternative would be to follow CFA's recommendation and remove the tower.

The Library, like many in the community, does not want to remove the tower. We believe that this tower has the potential to serve as a community icon similar to the "Big Chair."

The Library will take under advisement the issues you raised regarding the large "A" shown on earlier design images and the signage depicting "Library" on the vertical span of the tower and "Anacostia Library" on the horizontal plane. We are working with a signage consultant to determine the exact iconic image, letter, etc. that may be placed on the tower. We will continue to keep the community informed by updating the website images as tower images evolve.

The Library currently is at work to rebuild the Anacostia, Benning, Deanwood, Francis A. Gregory, and Washington Highlands Neighborhood Libraries. Additionally, we are moving and expanding the facility at Parklands Turner. All five (5) of these locations are "east of the river". It is our goal to create a sense of awe, and help inspire a new generation of readers with these buildings.

Please feel free to contact us with any other questionsabout the Anacostia Neighborhood Library at and we encourage you to visit the Library’s website at to learn more about the projects underway.