Library of congress 

Washington, D.C. 

January 04, 2015 

If you saw my list of Things to Do in DC from two weeks ago, you know that visiting The Library of Congress was high up on my list of things to do while in DC for the New Year holiday. I finally made it to the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Main Lobby , early Monday morning when it was practically empty.

When the Library originally opened in 1897, it was the largest and most costly library building in the world. And likely one of the most elaborate. I mean, look at these pictures. The Library was also the first public building in the United States to have electricity.  

By the 1970s, all this intricate Beaux Artes architecture had been covered with drop ceilings and these gorgeous corridors were filled with offices, obscuring the design elements, which were in desperate need of care. In the mid-1980s, Congress approved an $81 million dollar restoration to return the Library to its former glory. It “only” took 12 years. LOL. 

The lobby you see here is about how it looked almost 120 years ago, with some modern updates like air-con and security cameras and such. 

Images provided by Demetria Lucas D'Oyley. All rights reserved.