One of the most stunning buildings in Washington is the Library of Congress' historic Thomas Jefferson Building. While it can be visited and toured throughout the year, twice annually the Library hosts an open house. During the open house visitors can also enter the famous Main Reading Room, which otherwise is open only to those with a reader's card. The open houses are held on Columbus Day in October and on Presidents' Day in February. Having first been awed by this amazingly intricate building during a conference last year, I made sure to find time to visit again during the recent fall event.
During the open house one could wander around several areas, and chat with helpful librarians and volunteers who were happy to answer questions about the building's history, as well as the work of the Library. The members room, for example, is typically off limits to the public, but we could peek into that, which was just as ornate as other areas.
The highlight of the day was being able to explore the Main Reading Room, which is impressive in its size and beauty.
The rest of the areas open to visitors in the Jefferson Building are also quite photo-worthy and memorable. Because many of the prettiest bits are high up, they are difficult to photograph. The following pictures are of somewhat poor quality, but they were too interesting not too share!
|Gold leaf on this hallway ceiling.|
|Sorry for poor quality, but I loved this!|
|An alcove in the Main Reading Room.|
|Such gorgeous colors and patterns!|