Southeast Library Modernization Project

Southeast Library Modernization Project

Design process is underway

We're modernizing the Southeast Library. DC Public Library has hired the design/build team of Whiting-Turner Construction/Quinn Evans Architects for the $23 million transformation of this historic Carnegie library. The design will be a blend of preservation, renovation and rehabilitation.

The project goals include:

  • Expanded space for children, teens and adults
  • More space for books, computers and seating
  • Preservation and restoration of the building's historic elements
  • Universally accessible entrance (as well as maintaining the original historic entrance)
  • Restoring the exterior landscape
  • Environmentally sustainable design
  • Improved sight lines
  • More meeting, collaboration, and study space
The project is in the design phase, which will include review by the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board, National Capital Planning Commission, and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.

The Southeast Library was designated a historic landmark by the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board on March 25, 2021.


Community Engagement

Community engagement is a vital aspect of the design process. There will be many opportunities for community input.

On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, the Library hosted the sixth community meeting where the design team presented the schematic design and gather community feedback.

View the presentation.
View the community comments.

On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, the Library hosted the fifth community meeting where the design team presented the schematic design and gather community feedback.

View the presentation.
View the community comments.
View comments from The Capitol Hill Restoration Society.

Past Meetings


On Dec. 16, 2020, the Library hosted the fourth community meeting where the design team presented the concept design and gathered community feedback.

View the presentation
View the community comments

On July 23, 2020, the Library hosted a virtual community meeting where the design team shared the results of the community engagement to date, the due diligence on the site, and how the library building program is beginning to take shape.


View the presentation
View the community comments

On March 3, 2020, the library hosted a community meeting in the North Hall at Eastern Market. Executive director Richard Reyes-Gavilan introduced the design-build team of Quinn/Evans and Whiting/Turner. The presentation included the project process and timeline and an opportunity for community members to participate in design exercises.


View the presentation
View the community comments

On Feb. 8, 2020,  the Library hosted a drop-in for residents to meet the architects chosen for the renovation of Southeast Library. There was much discussion, exchange of ideas, and an opportunity for residents to begin providing input.

Click here to take the survey  

On Jan. 28, 2019, executive director Richard Reyes-Gavilan was invited to speak with members of the Capitol Hill Village regarding the modernization of the library. He discussed the project process and timeline, and shared examples of buildings around the city that the Library has completed to date. The slideshow was the same slide show presented to the community on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.

View the community comments

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, the library hosted a community meeting at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.
Executive director Richard Reyes-Gavilan discussed the project process and timeline, and shared examples of buildings around the city that the Library has completed to date.


View the presentation
View the community comments

History of the Southeast Library

To find out more on the history of this library check here.

If you have questions about the project, you may contact Martha Saccocio at martha.saccocio@dc.gov.