Apple reveals plans for D.C.’s Carnegie Library store: restoration, subtle branding, new skylight

It was in September of last year that we first heard that Apple was in talks to open an Apple Store in Washington D.C.’s famous Carnegie Library, with more details emerging later in the year. The company has now revealed more of its plans as it prepares for a presentation this evening …


While some are concerned about handing over control of a historic building for use as a retail store, Apple says that its plans are respectful of both the appearance and current role of the building.

Apple officials say they plan to restore the building to its original grandeur and outfit Carnegie as a place to hold a slate of free, open-to-the-public concerts, art exhibitions, workshops for teachers and coding classes for children […]

Rather than plastering the buildings with the company’s logo, Apple’s designers say they will focus on restoring the building’s historic character. It can take a little work to find the store’s signage and logo — which is the point.

“For us, it wasn’t about coming in and leaving our mark,” Siegel said. “It was about bringing the history back out and respecting it.”

It does propose to open a large glass skylight, and showed an artist’s rendering of this.

The piece cites New York’s Grand Central Terminal, a Depression-era brick storefront in Brooklyn and a 130-year-old former bank in Paris as past examples of Apple designing its store in sympathy with historic buildings.

The company’s plans are backed by D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser.

[An Apple store there] could link D.C.’s rich history to our continued economic renaissance, will demonstrate the strength of our retail market, and will tell companies across the globe that the District is open for business.

Apple will this evening be presenting those plans to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

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