Rooney Library

The 64,000 square foot Library is one of the first major buildings in the District with an asymmetrical fa├žade. The longer horizontal expanse on the south end is balanced by the emphasis of verticality and detail on the north end. Notable features are the smooth Bedford limestone veneer and tall recessed bays with stone spandrels separating the floors in each bay. Carved triglyph-like lines along the top parapet mimic elements of Doric architecture, tying this to earlier buildings on campus. The spandrels above the glass entryway are decorated with stylized Art Deco floral carvings. Our Lady of the Woods, a 24-foot high bas relief carving north of the entrance was designed by Sister Esther Newport and carved by Adolph Gustav Wolter. It symbolizes the roots of the past bringing forth the leaves of accomplishments to come, through the inspiration, protection and intercession of Saint Mary. Interior brushed aluminum handrails, terrazzo tile floors, and marble tiled foyer and stairways merge Mid-Century use of natural materials with Classical aesthetics.

Year built
Architecture style
Moderne with Art Nouveau details
Bohlen and Burns
Exteior view of Rooney Library
Closeup view of the Our Lady of the Woods carving