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Apple To Open Flagship Store At Carnegie Library In Washington, DC: Report

22 September 2016, 8:22 pm EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
Apple is reportedly intending to open one of its flagship stores in Washington, D.C. The company is targeting the Carnegie Library, a 113-year-old historic building, to house its retail services, among other things.  ( Chris Hsia | Flickr )

Negotiations between Apple and Events DC, Washington capital's conventions agency, suggest an intent from Apple to open a flagship store in the area, possibly targeting the historic Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square.

In May, Apple opened one of its flagship stores in San Francisco's Union Square, going beyond the supposed convention of retail as it appended said establishment with an open plaza and a space to hold events like concerts and the ilk. The same model could potentially take form in the District.

The Washington Post first reported the news, adding that according to officials involved, negotiations began when Events DC sought for ideas in relation to the reuse of the Carnegie Library, a 113-year-old public-owned building donated by steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie in 1903.

The idea of the library being repurposed as an Apple flagship store is sort of a recourse, considering that in the past, Events DC's efforts to find it its due occupation have been troublesome. It was once a local history museum, but that failed to last for even a year. Plans for it to become a music museum never came into fruition. And it was set to house the International Spy Museum but Events DC failed to gain the approval of the city's historic preservation panel.

If Apple does intend to open its next flagship store in the Carnegie Library, they may have just snipped the string of tumult surrounding the occupancy of the building. As previously mentioned, the building is to this day publicly owned, likely the root of Events DC's difficulty to find a definitive use for it.

"Apple would be a huge attraction," said Jack Evans, a D.C. council member, who first heard the idea early this year. "In that part of town we have a lot of people living there now. So I am a big fan of the idea and I hope that it happens."

Evans said the addition of an Apple store in the area would contribute to the city's continued growth, noting that it would complement the different establishments quickly populating the area.

Even more notable, Apple has recently shifted from its signature glass box architecture for its stores and instead now opts for a more organic and undisruptive adaptation as opposed to completely redesigning it from the ground up. This could sit well with the city's preservation panel, and as an example, Apple can point to its Grand Central Terminal store. Apple's known to splurge on the architecture and design of its stores, and that's likely not about to change anytime soon.

"We have a deep commitment to the cities we work in, and are aware of the importance that architecture plays in the community," said Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer for Apple, referring to the San Francisco store.

Neither distinct plans nor definitive confirmation from Apple is available, as the company hasn't made any public comment on the matter. Officials involved in the negotiations, despite their non-disclosure agreements, have managed to say that Apple has something different in mind for the Carnegie Library.

The building is one of the most important in the capital, but Events DC currently rents it for events such as receptions and weddings. It's unclear how Apple would design its flagship store, if it is indeed going in that direction. The Carnegie Library is massive at 63,000 square foot, and a surrounding lawn makes it remotely far from neighboring establishments, a possible hindrance to overall accessibility.

Without word from Apple about its plans, anything is basically speculation. For now, your guesses are as good as ours, but you can expect due coverage once more details emerge.

Photo: Chris Hsia | Flickr 

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