84°Scattered Clouds

New Cleveland Park Library Renderings

by Prince Of Petworth March 29, 2016 at 3:00 pm 26 Comments

Cleveland Park Exterior 3-2016_0_0
via DCPL

Thanks to a reader for passing on from DCPL:

The Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library, located at 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, will be rebuilt.

The Library has selected the team of Gilbane and Perkins Eastman to design the building. The project is currently funded at $18.6 million.

The new library, which is still in the design phase, will be larger to accommodate expanded space for children, teens and adults.

Interim Library Service
The DC Public Library is in negotiations with the Department of General Services (DGS) and one or more entities regarding leasing space for the Cleveland Park Interim Library. Some people have been made aware that space located on the campus of the University of the District of Columbia is under consideration. As of this date, we have not signed a lease for this purpose. We are interested in securing space as near the current Cleveland Park Library as possible and this has proven to be a very difficult task. We wish we could be more specific however, we do not want to misinform anyone or jeopardize any negotiations underway. We hope to be able to make a public announcement and provide a schedule regarding the closing of the current library, the opening of the Interim Cleveland Park Library and etc., by mid-February 2016.

Historic Review Process
While the Cleveland Park Library is not an historic structure, it is located within the Cleveland Park Historic District. Given this, the design will need to be approved by the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board. In addition, because it is a public building, the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts also will review and approve the design.

View the latest design concept.”


3310 Connecticut Ave, NW today

  • wobber

    that station wagon in the rendering is riding low.

  • nw_dc_1988

    DC truly does try to ruin everything and anything fun. Womp, boring.

    • ***

      AND it hasn’t even made it through the historic review process, which you just know the NIMBY’s in CP will find a way to attack this in full force even though it’s about as pedestrian and neighborhood appeasing as possible.

      • bruno

        Tora, tora, tora!

  • bruno

    Ghastly! Pearl Harbor Memorial-esque :^0

  • Philippe Lecheval

    Many of the other libraries built in the last decade have been at least a little adventurous in design. This one looks like cookie cutter 1950s municipal architecture.

    • saf

      New head librarian

  • Anonomnom

    Hate this. Loved the old design. God, I hate my neighbors sometimes.

    • Bob

      Same here. It’s really too bad that the only people involved in the library redesign are loud-mouthed retirees. The neighborhood is filled with young couples and families that are just too busy to be super involved.

    • MtP

      Completely agree. I guess this one is *fine*, so I just hope the vocal NIMBY’s (this is truly a strange breed of NIMBY’s opposing a library on some misfound sense of visual asethic) let this get built as is.

  • Beau
    • ***

      Like the super watered down bland version, sure.

    • spookiness

      I’m not seeing it. Perhaps I need my annual eye exam.

    • Beau

      Sorry – I tried to retract this comment but failed. The first photo reminded me of it. The rest? .
      But I agree, “super watered down bland version.”

      • ***

        I’m now realizing that this design is actual the bland, watered down version of the previous design. Cleveland Park is such a strange, pearl-clutching place sometimes. Apparently the previous design was too “wild” because it had 4 materials and was 5′ too tall.

  • MtP

    Also, someone on the CP listserv complained about an apparent corner of a floor that just had an X on it, wondering what it would be used for and worrying that it was not a proper use of space. Are we all library scientists and architects now?! I am all for neighborhood input, but we don’t really need to micromanage every little piece of the project.

    • ***

      That is hilarious.

  • anon

    Every other corner on this intersection has a 5 story building–why do we need such a small building here?? Why don’t they put a homeless shelter above the library, or at the very least some middle income housing.

  • Anonymous

    Another example of why DCPL shouldn’t be in the game of property development. These buildings should be max out their zoning to provide housing in much needed transit-accessible areas. The Shaw Library, while pretty, is the worst offender at this. Who builds a two story building across the street from a metro station? WHY?

    • Sam

      Perhaps you don’t really understand what you are talking about. The library and architects were pretty clear that this design maxes out all the FAR they have by zoning.

      As far as making them mixed use with housing/retail, they tried that at Tenley Town, MLK and Southwest, and spent literally years trying to get it approved. The public blowback was ferocious. For better or worse, the DC taxpayer doesn’t want it. It took the better part of a year for the library folks to get this design through the CP Historical Society, the ANC, the CFA, and the HPRB. There were 4 groups, none of which agree on anything who all have the ability to stop you, so the idea of getting them to approve a mixed use library here is simply wouldn’t happen

    • ***

      In theory, I agree, however I don’t know if CP is in particularly short supply of available apartments.

  • YeaahDC

    I don’t like it at all, but it will fit in just fine in Cleveland Park. Not eveything has to be edgy and interesting.

    • ***

      I don’t think this needs to be a spaceship, but there are far more interesting, modern designs that could happen that still respect the “historical” nature of the neighborhood. This design panders to the fringe, but unfortunately, very vocal interests of a group of people who have put a stronghold on what should be a vibrant area of town under the guise of historical preservation. I can stand behind the residential areas maintaining this status, but a commercial strip on a busy, metro accessible corridor (which didn’t even exist when this area was built) is completely ridiculous. There is nothing of historical significance in some boxy, beige brick buildings, other than that they were built in the late 50’s. It’s the same failed logic that persevered during the whole “save the service lane” campaign several years back.

  • anon

    What a bummer. I think it is such a cute little, old fashioned library as it currently stands. I just don’t see the need for the change.

    • MtP

      Say what you want about the design, but the current library is subpar. One big dingy, musky room. An upgrade is definitely needed.

  • chasscott

    It’s too branch banky to me.

    Much more to my taste is is this library architecture prize winner in South Korea:

    For the Density Freaks, my taste tends toward this one in Baton Rouge, LA:


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