Events DC and International SPY Museum Withdraw Redevelopment Plan of Historic Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square

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Project Partners Decide Not To Move Forward with the Redevelopment

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After months of meetings and revisions with the District of Columbia’s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), along with various federal and local agencies, Events DC announced today that it has withdrawn its plans for a proposed redevelopment of the historic Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square.

"We are thankful to those who provided thoughtful comments on ways to move forward with the project,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “However, given the constraints of time and our required program elements for the project, we can no longer continue to pursue concept approval for our proposed redevelopment plan.”

The decision came following last Thursday’s meeting before HPRB where the Board declined to approve the project’s second major revision to the plan, instead directing the team to move forward with additional design revisions. Events DC, along with its partner, the International Spy Museum (SPY), worked closely since 2012 to develop a design that was responsive to the feedback obtained through numerous meetings with federal and local agencies, organizations, and community groups.

“As a result of our meetings with the review agencies and various community stakeholders, we developed multiple iterations that resulted in significant changes to our original design,” said O’Dell. “Ultimately, any further adjustments to the design would have compromised our essential program for this project or been too cost prohibitive to implement.”    

The project program included the development of underground space for SPY, while glass pavilions at ground level would include a café, museum retail space and a much needed state-of-the-art Visitor's Center for the city. In addition, the partners on the project were committed to contributing a significant amount of funding to help restore and renovate the Carnegie Library and the grounds at Mount Vernon Square. The project would have added recreational space and created a popular amenity for not only the millions of tourists who come to DC every year, but also for our residents and their families.

The time constraints surrounding the project were also limiting based upon SPY’s short-term lease at their current location. The museum’s plans for a permanent location are unknown at this time.
"We sincerely hope that the District will not lose the highly important and influential International Spy Museum as a result of this unfortunate development," added O’Dell. “They have been great partners in this effort and a great asset for the city – we will work proactively to keep them in the District.”

As one of the first large-scale museums to venture past the National Mall, SPY is an economic development innovator in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. The museum attracts more than 600,000 visitors on an annual basis, and provides a significant economic benefit to the city. Additionally, SPY recently obtained 501(c)3 designation and is in the process of becoming a non-profit museum.

About Events DC
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation's capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District's hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the Stadium-Armory campus, which includes Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and surrounding Festival Grounds, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and Maloof Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Events DC also built and now serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.eventsdc.com.

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Ashley Forrester
Events DC
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