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Southwest Library to close for $18M redevelopment June 1

Say goodbye to the current, decades-old building

Rendering of the planned Southwest Library project at 900 Wesley Place SW
Perkins+Will, via D.C. Public Library

The Southwest Library at 900 Wesley Place SW will shut its doors for the last time at 5:30 p.m. June 1, according to D.C. Public Library (DCPL). In the coming weeks, work will start on the library’s $18 million on-site replacement, designed by international architecture firm Perkins+Will. (New York-based builder Turner Construction will be the general contractor.)

DCPL says the new library will boast green design, more public space and natural light, a meeting room for more than 100 people, and three conference rooms. It will also feature areas for adults, teens, and children, an “Innovation Lab” equipped with 3D printers, and outdoor space. The library sits on a roughly 22,000-square-foot lot between K and I streets SW, within walking distance of the Waterfront Metro station and the Southwest Duck Pond.

A few logistics, per a recent DCPL release:

The last day to place holds on items to pick up at Southwest Library will be Wednesday, May 22. Customers waiting for outstanding holds after June 1 will be able to pickup that item at the Northeast Library or may select a new location by logging into their Library account. The lending period for items checked out from Southwest Library that are due between May 25 and June 8 will be extended to June 12. The book drop will remain open until June 8 and items may be returned to any DC Public Library location.

An interim library will open “later this summer” at 425 M Street SW, DCPL adds. The closest permanent library is the Southeast Library at 403 7th Street SE, close to the Eastern Market Metro station. The Southwest Library has operated in some iteration for more than 70 years.

The project comes amid an overall, ongoing portfolio redevelopment for DCPL. The flagship Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is scheduled to reopen in fall 2020 and feature art by locals. The renovated West End and Cleveland Park libraries recently won design awards.