Carnegie Library Renovation
Washington, D.C.
Award of Merit

Owner: Confidential at Owner’s Request
Lead Design Firm: Beyer Blinder Belle
General Contractor: Grunley Construction Co.
Subcontractors: Limbach Co. LLC (Mechanical/Plumbing); Freestate Electrical; C.J. Coakley Co. (Drywall/Plaster); Extreme Steel Inc.; Hardesty Concrete Construction; Crescent Designed Metals; Lorton Stone LLC  (Stone/Facade Restoration); Aceco LLC (Demolition); Interior Building Systems LLC (Millwork); The Craftsmen Group Inc. (New Wood Windows); Oak Grove Restoration (Restored Wood Windows); Atlantic Refinishing & Restoration Inc. (Masonry); CFP International Inc. (Sprinkler)

Once used as the central library for the District of Columbia, the historic Carnegie Library underwent a 26-month renovation that created new retail space for an Apple Store as well as space for the City Museum.

The Beaux-Arts style building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, presented numerous structural challenges as the team had to remove floors that sat in the building’s center apex. Previous renovations that added new floors were demolished to reopen the center of the building, allowing a new skylight to bring natural light into the space. 

Crews removed the original laylight and the load-bearing north wall—all while supporting the original roof, the original north wing skylight and the historic facade of a 116-year-old building. A new skylight was fabricated in Germany, transported by a cargo ship to Baltimore and delivered to Washington, D.C., by tractor trailer. Grunley used a system of structural shoring and scaffolding that was erected inside the 30-ft by 50-ft courtyard through the existing floors. The system held the existing third floor, original steel joists and roof in place so the project team could perform the full demolition of the courtyard, the north wall and the existing floors on the north wing of the building.

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