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Mayor Bowser Applauds Agreement to Restore and Activate the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Events DC and Apple Announce Completion of Innovative Agreement to Reactivate the Historic Carnegie Library

(Washington, DC) – Today, Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, announced that its Board of Directors and Apple have finalized terms and will execute the lease for a global flagship Apple store. Under the lease terms, the location of the store will be the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square, the center of a newly transformed convention and entertainment district in downtown DC. Furthermore, a Tri-Party Agreement among Events DC, Apple, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. will also be executed, memorializing a co-location of Apple and the Historical Society as part of the reimagined vision at Carnegie Library.

“The partnership between Events DC and Apple demonstrates an innovative approach to preserving the historic character of our world-renowned Carnegie Library while creating a cultural experience that welcomes residents from across the District of Columbia and visitors from around the world,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We look forward to the Carnegie Library re-opening its doors as a destination in DC's Other Mall - our thriving retail center in the central business district.”

Within the signed agreement, Apple will lease a portion of the Carnegie Library, comprising approximately 18,896 square-feet of interior space. Apple will also have the same rights to program its portion of the building and grounds as agreed upon in the letter of intent. The lease term is ten years with two five-year options. The Historical Society, under its existing 99-year lease, will continue to operate its museum and library in the building, with approximately 13,000 square-feet of space on the basement level, second floor, and third floor.

“This collaboration is about more than simply bringing another retail space into downtown. It showcases how a neighborhood can undergo rapid transformation while adopting the essential characteristics required to move forward into a new century,” said Max Brown, chairman of Events DC Board of Directors. “As part of its philanthropic efforts, Apple will also empower local youth with job-training and educational programming. Through this collaboration, Apple’s investment in the neighborhood will stimulate additional activity and spending in the area to ensure that the community will continue to thrive.”

The partnership will breathe new life into the Carnegie Library, restoring its historic beauty while continuing and reinventing the building’s original purpose of sharing knowledge and information. The flagship store will also attract a broad audience to the area and increase traffic to surrounding local businesses.

“Apple’s commitment to Carnegie Library further reinforces the Mt. Vernon Square area as a burgeoning convention and entertainment district in the heart of our city,” said Gregory A. O'Dell, Events DC President and Chief Executive Officer. “We thought creatively about how to reposition this vitally important asset and pushed to make it happen.”

This deal signals the attractiveness of Washington, DC to global companies and the strength of DC’s market to continue to create job opportunities for all.

“This project will most importantly save the Carnegie Library for future generations to enjoy, and with Apple’s sensitive restoration of the spaces, the Historical Society will also renew its ability to present our city’s rich and significant history to visitors and residents,” said John T. Suau, Historical Society Executive Director. “We look forward to expanding our visibility in the historic Carnegie Library with new and creative ways to engage a 21st-century audience.”

The design for the new flagship store is currently in development. Apple takes an innovative and measured approach when locating their stores in historic buildings. In San Francisco, Apple opened a store in the city’s Union Square that serves as more than just a retail outlet, with a place for concerts and children’s events as well as a plaza with public Wi-Fi and space for public seating.

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is a community-supported educational and research organization that collects, interprets, and shares the history of our nation's capital. Founded in 1894, the Historical Society serves diverse audiences through its collections, public programs, exhibitions, and publications. In 1999, Congress granted $2 million and a 99-year lease to the Historical Society to use the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square, located across the street from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, as a history museum about Washington, DC. The Carnegie Library has served as the home of the Historical Society’s museum and library since 2003. The Library is an integral part of the 200-year history of Mt. Vernon Square, a fast-growing area that has recently seen the construction of the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, Convention Center retail program, as well a host of new restaurants, retailers, and housing developments.