Cleveland Park Library Construction Project

Cleveland Park Library Construction Project

Design process is underway.


The Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library, located at 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, will be rebuilt. The Library has selected the team of Gilbane and Perkins Eastman to design the building. The project is currently funded at $18.6 million. The new library, which is still in the design phase, will be larger to accommodate expanded space for children, teens and adults.

Design Update

Plans for the new library are progressing well. We are grateful for the support of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, the Commission of Fine Arts and the Historic Preservation Review Board, which have all offered their approvals for the beautiful new building. While we look forward to our next community meeting in May (date TBD) to discuss new Cleveland Park Library interiors, we feel it is important to provide an update on some of the recent decisions the Library has made to ensure the project remains on time and on budget. 

As the design continues to evolve and we refine costs, we have made adjustments to ensure the building provides as much public space as possible but also remains within budget. While our original intent was to expand public service to the basement level, we are unable to do so and stay within budget. As a result, we are no longer considering a basement-level assembly space. We have however increased the size of the first-floor assembly spaces and made other refinements to the design.

Residents will soon look forward to a building that has 5,558 more square feet of public space than the existing building. (With the outdoor reading garden, there will be more than 7,000 square feet of additional space.)

Some of the features of the new building include:
  • A 1,250 square foot first floor meeting/assembly space to accommodate 140 people. This represents the largest meeting room of any of our neighborhood branch libraries.
  • An adjacent 1,000 square foot meeting room/story hour room to accommodate 110 people.
  • These two rooms can be combined to create a space that can accommodate up to 250 people. 
  • A 400 square foot second-floor conference room that can seat up to 14 people
  • Four private study rooms for 3-4 people
  • A 1,600 square foot outdoor reading garden that can be enjoyed by all customers
  • As many books as are currently held at the existing Cleveland Park Library
The new library will be a spectacular and iconic addition to the Cleveland Park and Woodley Park neighborhoods. The $18.6 million that has been budgeted for the project is sufficient to create a building that will be loved and well-used for generations to come.

Interim Library Service

The DC Public Library is in negotiations with the Department of General Services (DGS) and one or more entities regarding leasing space for the Cleveland Park Interim Library. Some people have been made aware that space located on the campus of the University of the District of Columbia is under consideration.  As of this date, we have not signed a lease for this purpose.  We are interested in securing space as near the current Cleveland Park Library as possible and this has proven to be a very difficult task.  We wish we could be more specific however, we do not want to misinform anyone or jeopardize any negotiations underway.  We hope to be able to make a public announcement and provide a schedule regarding the closing of the current library, the opening of the Interim Cleveland Park Library and etc., by mid-February 2016.

Historic Review Process

While the Cleveland Park Library is not an historic structure, it is located within the Cleveland Park Historic District. Given this, the design will need to be approved by the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board. In addition, because it is a public building, the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts also will review and approve the design.

View the latest design concept below:


Community Engagement

Community input is a critical part of the design process. The Library hosted community meetings, and conducted surveys and focus groups to gather input about what spaces and services residents want in their new library.

Provide Comments Online

Share your ideas and view others' ideas in the Cleveland Park Library Idea Community.

Community Meetings

The DC Public Library and the Friends of the Cleveland Park Library have hosted three community meetings with the architect team to gather community ideas and get feedback on the design. Additional meetings will be held as the design process continues.

The first was held on Wednesday, May 13View a compilation of the comments from May 13 meeting .

At a community meeting on June 23, the architect team presented draft design goals and principles based on community input provided to date. Follow the link to view the presentation. Read community feedback from the meeting.

Building Facility Assessment

Prior to beginning design, the Library conducted thorough pre-design due diligence work. This work helps eliminate unknown building issues and informs decisions regarding building design, and helps determine whether the modernization approach is to rebuild or undertake a major renovation. Due diligence included a thorough building cost-benefit assessment that looked at the entire building. The CBA determines the useful life of the systems and makes recommendations for repair or replacement.

The CBA also looks at the library’s Neighborhood Library Building Program and makes recommendations to the level of demolition or renovation needed to meet the program.The library program is the document that determines the amount of square footage needed. All these factors are then given a cost estimate that compares renovation vs. new construction. It is not the only document used to make the choice between demolition/new construction or renovation, but it does help the Library make an informed decision.

Questions and comments about the project may be sent to Martha Saccocio at or Archie Williams at

Read a history of the Cleveland Park Library written in 1996 by the Friends of the Cleveland Park Library in cooperation with library staff.