This past weekend I finally went to the library to check it out. It just so happens that my local library is the main branch of the DC library system and was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe! Completed in 1972, the library measures in at 400,000 sf and is the only public library ever designed by Mies. Steel & glass with some brick privacy walls at the first floor, this is a rare example of modernism in dc replacing the old Andrew Carnegie donated 1903 beaux arts building nearby (which unfortunately is vacant). The building is typical of Mies's style -with a grand exterior public entrycourt. The interior is delightfully open and filled with natural light.
In 2007 it was designated a historic landmark by the district and rightfully so. Unfortunately, while the upkeep on the facility is adequate it seems to have been bastardized. The grand spaces are littered with subpar clutter and tacky lighting belying Mies's modernistic vision: not a barcelona chair or table in site! It's still a great space though I was surprised to find!The library seen through 2 more typical traditional dc office buildings.
the open interiors (entry lobby)
The library is great -who needs blockbuster or amazon??!! I got 2 great books as well as numerous movies and cds. I'm reading 'Dior by Dior' - the autobiography of the designer first published in 1957 - it's incredible to read the backstory and his rather modest take on his abilities! Also checked out 'Antoine's alphabet, Watteau and his world' which is a historical fiction based on the life of the painter. Both definitely are worth a read!
Sorry for the poor picture quality, it was pouring rain and I was juggling an umbrella!