Apple Carnegie Library: An inside look at Apple’s most ambitious store yet

Science. Poetry. History. These three words set the tone as you pass through the doors of Apple Carnegie Library, the latest in a careful collection of global flagship stores. It’s been over 116 years since each art was carved into marble and hung above the library’s entrance, but the studies remain as relevant to Apple today as they were when the building was built. Apple Carnegie Library is far more than a store — it’s the clearest public expression of Apple’s values.





In Washington, D.C., Apple hosted a special preview of its new space ahead of the grand opening on April 11th at 10:00 A.M. There was certainly cause for celebration. According to Tim Cook, the completed library is Apple’s “most historic, ambitious restoration by far, in the world.”

Located at the nexus of Mount Vernon Square and surrounded on all sides by freshly landscaped parkland, D.C.’s Beaux-Arts Carnegie Library is a gleaming historic structure set amid modern commercial developments. But it wasn’t always that way. Just two years ago, the library was tired and underutilized, dulled by time and a succession of promising reuse projects that struggled to get off the ground. The last time the building served as a proper public library was 1972. It was a far cry from the vision Andrew Carnegie outlined when he funded the building’s construction.

Apple Carnegie Library

Apple Carnegie Library

Apple’s plans to revitalize the space came together swiftly. Most of the company’s retail store restorations have been international projects, so a historic store is a new experience for many Apple customers in the U.S. Teaming up with architecture firms Foster + Partners for design and Beyer Blinder Belle for preservation expertise, a strategy was devised to respect the library’s original architecture and intent while reversing a century of modifications and adding a few modern touches along the way.

Apple Carnegie Library

Stepping inside today, you’re greeted by the library’s original three-story staircase to your left and right. A bronze handrail winds from the basement to the second floor, where the DC History Center and city Historical Society reside.

Apple Carnegie Library