SAH Opposes Proposed Alterations to the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress

by SAH News | Nov 23, 2022
Main Reading Room
Highsmith, Carol M, photographer. Main Reading Room. View from above showing researcher desks. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. Washington D.C, 2009. Photograph.
On September 8, 2022, the SAH Heritage Conservation Committee sent a letter to Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla D. Hayden in opposition to the proposed alterations to the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress. The proposed project seeks to radically and irreparably damage the design and function of the Reading Room by removing the central circulation desk.

"The Main Reading Room, with the circulation desk at its heart, is essential to an understanding of the Library of Congress and its capstone role in the importance of literacy in a functional American democracy. We call upon Congress, the Architect of the Capitol, and the American public to oppose these alterations, which will destroy the heart of a building designed for everyone. SAH believes that every effort should be made to protect the Main Reading Room and the circulation desk at its center."

Read the Letter

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
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