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Design

The Problem With D.C.’s New Apple Store

The city has converted a cultural gem entrusted to the entire city into an exclusive outlet that serves only the few.
By leasing the Carnegie Library building to Apple, the city has turned over a prominent cultural asset to an exclusive use: a tech enclave whose products are out of reach for many residents. And not just the 1903 marble building, but also several acres of urban park in the form of Mt. Vernon Square.
By leasing the Carnegie Library building to Apple, the city has turned over a prominent cultural asset to an exclusive use: a tech enclave whose products are out of reach for many residents. And not just the 1903 marble building, but also several acres of urban park in the form of Mt. Vernon Square.Patrick Semansky/AP

When Apple opens the doors to its new retail outlet in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, people will finally get a chance to see what the company has done with one of the District’s cultural gems. The world’s wealthiest company is moving into a Beaux-Arts building in a downtown urban park that once housed a Carnegie Library.

Among the new features that customers will find is the Forum, a double-height atrium in this newly restored project. The Forum will host Today at Apple, which offers Apple users tips and training on the company’s increasingly essential suite of productivity and creativity tools, from taking better photos on iPhones to making music on GarageBand.