PoP Preview – Tenley-Friendship Library

It’s been really fun checking out all the new libraries opening up. First we checked out the celebrated Shaw Library and then new Georgetown Library. On Wed. I was able to once again meet with chief librarian Ginnie Cooper and check out the Tenley-Friendship Library located at 4450 Wisconsin Ave, NW (right across from the Tenleytown-AU metro) which will officially open up on Monday, January 24 with a grand opening party on Saturday, February 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The original Tenley library closed way back at the end of ’04. I think many will agree it was worth the wait. And stay tuned for the Petworth Library which will open up Feb. 28th.

Like Shaw there are many windows flooding the library with light. Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper says the “quality of the light is magical”. The Public area is around 22,000 square feet. And there is also a green roof. There are around 45 computers and they are all Apple computers. The library will have 8 full time staff members.

The first floor hosts the new arrivals, dvds and children’s section while the second floor holds the adult and teen sections. Like the other libraries we’ve visited, substantial meeting rooms have also been incorporated. There will also soon be art installed on the second floor that celebrates the neighborhood. Finally, the configuration of the library can easily change as technologies advance (ie less books and more tablet computers one day…)

So how do you guys think this one compares to Shaw and Georgetown?

Lots more photos including inside after the jump.

As you enter a vestibule area on the first floor.

Part of children’s section on first floor.

Nice Apple computers, 45 total

Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper tries out one of the super comfortable reading chairs.

Another style of reading chair.

2nd Floor space dividing public space from large conference room.

And of course lots of books (from 2nd floor)

And good ones too.

19 Comment

  • Who should get kudos for all this great work? Fenty? Someone in his administration? Let’s live up to his expectations.

  • Super frickin cool.

  • go Fenty; wait, we’re stuck with grandpa Gray; http://www.freelon.com/portfolio/262

  • I absolutely love the style of the wooden reading chair. Anyone know anything about it? Or where I might find more information about the chair?

  • i’m all for unique and modern architecture but this is just ugly

  • I think it’s gorgeous. And it’s a good thing this place was planned and funded before the current crap state of the economy, because there’s no way something this nice will be built by the District again, anytime soon.

    And is all that glass treated with something that will keep all the books from getting faded?

  • I work in an academic library and in our recent renovation project, UV filter glass was installed. It protects books, fabric, etc. from fading and lessens the heat load in the building, reducing energy costs. I would assume this snazzy library has something similar…

  • Beaming with pride at DC’s new libraries. Libraries are dream palaces anyway. Nothing civic could make me happier. Thanks for sharing PoP.

  • This place looks fabulous! Especially considering it sat as a giant hole in the ground for several years between the demolition of the old library and construction of the new one.

  • looks great! I love libraries. 2 killjoy things:

    a) it will likely be loud, like Shaw is. Sound travels with all that openness. Having the computers in a separate, soundproof, room would help a lot (as would closing off the teen room and having a staff or volunteer monitor it). I am thrilled that libraries offer computer access and safe places for teens to gather and do something constructive. But those functions can be less than conducive to quiet reading and studying.

    b) I wish it had been mixed-use, with apartments or offices above it. Within the constraints of neighborhood opposition, though, I think they did an awesome job.

  • Me, me, I want to be the first one to pee in the stacks. Hey, isn’t that what public libraries are for?

  • Gorgeous. I like Shaw a lot, but love this one. Nice to have a few civic buildings that are pleasant public spaces that will stand the test of time.

  • I worked closely on this project and the building is structurally designed to accomodate condos in the future. There was no funding to make this happen right now, but I know there is a possibility in the future.

    • Can you explain more? I know there was lots of opposition to residential/business space incorporated with the library (i.e. sensible high density use of space near metro) so am curious how the whole process finally worked out.

  • Wow – it is really beautiful. Great public libraries make me so happy.

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