The Wall Street Journal Names Two Libraries Among 2012's Best-Designed Buildings

William O. Lockridge/BellevueThe District's new libraries stand out in their neighborhoods, and they continue to win praise nationally. The Wall Street Journal has recognized the William O. Lockridge/Bellevue and Francis A. Gregory libraries as two of the best designed buildings for 2012.

"We are proud that the District continues to be honored for offering its residents world-class libraries," said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian of the DC Public Library. "By putting great design in the heart of our city's neighborhoods, more District residents are discovering all the wonderful things their Library offers."

The Journal praised the DC libraries because they "break out of the mold of libraries as hushed repositories of printed tomes in favor of making them more of a community resource." The article also highlighted the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland.

Designed by world-famous architect David Adjaye, each library reflects its neighborhood but stands out to attract people in. They both feature space for 80,000 books, DVDs, CDs and other library materials; 32 public access computers with free Wi-Fi Internet access; comfortable seating for 200 customers; a large programming room for up to 100 people; two conference rooms; and a vending area. Since the opening of these libraries, residents have borrowed more than twice as many books from them than they did from the interim libraries in those neighborhoods.

This is the second time The Wall Street Journal has featured a DC Public Library. In 2010, the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library was named one of the best public buildings opened that year.

(Photo of William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library by Maurice G. Fitzgerald)