DCist Looks at Impact of Shaw’s Watha T. Daniel Library

by Borderstan.com July 5, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,642 3 Comments

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

The Watha T. Daniel Shaw branch of the DC Public Library.  (Luis Gomez Photos)

As many Borderstan readers know, the Watha T. Daniel Public Library in Shaw opened in 2010, creating a striking, modern presence along Rhode Island Avenue NW.

The Shaw branch of the DC Public Library, encased in metal and glass, was followed by similarly ambitious projects in Tenleytown, Anacostia and Benning. The designs, many of which are by world-renowned architect David Adjaye, make it hard to believe the structures are government buildings.

DCist takes a moment to focus on the renaissance of the District’s libraries. It notes that their progressive designs have brought critical acclaim and, more importantly, much-needed attention to the slumping library system.

Librarian Ginnie Cooper points out that these projects are favored by architects, who relish the library’s function-oriented public space. “One architect I know calls them today’s cathedral — a secular, sacred space.”

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