Anacostia Library History:
The Anacostia Interim Library opened its doors to the public in summer 2007. Plans and designs for the Construction of the new Anacostia Neighborhood Library are underway.
The community of Anacostia, one of the oldest residential areas in Washington, D.C., had long been considered a primary location for a potential branch of the public library. Funding for the D.C. Library Board of Trustees was finally received in 1940. The proposed Anacostia branch would serve the primarily working-class neighborhoods of Twining City, Washington Highlands, Old Anacostia, Hillcrest, Bolling Air Force Base, the Naval Air Station, St. Elizabeths, and 10 public schools, a junior high school and two parochial schools. A site on the northeast corner of 18th Street and Good Hope Road S.E. was purchased in 1942. Construction was delayed, however, by the intervention of the war, and funds allocated to the library were redirected to the war effort.
A temporary branch in rented quarters at 1537 Good Hope Road S.E. was established in the interim. The rented space occupied a two-story brick building that was erected in 1938 as a store and apartment building. The temporary branch opened November 20, 1942, with a collection of 7,000 volumes and 27 periodicals. City commissioner Guy Mason and George C. Havenner of the Library's Board of Trustees spoke at the dedication. In attendance were members of the Anacostia community, including John J. Watson, president of the Anacostia Citizens Association. District librarian Clara W. Herbert garnered special appreciation from the community for her efforts in establishing the Anacostia Neighborhood Library. Special evening hours were set up at the new branch to accommodate the adult patrons of the library.
The present building, designed by D.C. Municipal Architect Merrell A. Coe, was finally constructed and opened on April 12, 1956. The Neighborhood Library was built at a cost of $284,750 by the Washington construction firm of Tuckman-Barbee. The Anacostia library was the first of six public library branches built under the D.C. Public Works Program, and became the model for several subsequent branch buildings.
Anacostia Neighborhood Library is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media