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Preservationists say Library of Congress makeover plan is ‘vandalism’

Washington Post: “A proposed change to the ornate Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress that critics say would remove the symbolic and functional heart of the 1897 Beaux-Arts masterpiece has landed the library on the D.C. Preservation League’s 2022 list of Most Endangered Places. The Library of Congress plans to remove the mahogany librarian’s desk that rises some 16 feet in the middle of this spectacular, first-floor room and replace it with a circular window in the floor that will offer a view of its decorative dome to visitors looking up from the floor below. When the D.C. Preservation League announced the listing last month, it described the alternation as ill-advised and unnecessary and said it would “desecrate the Reading Room’s character and function.” It asked Congress and the Architect of the Capitol, the federal agency responsible for the Capitol complex, to stop it…”

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