April 7, 1997 Library of Congress Marks Public Reopening of the Thomas Jefferson Building with Community Event

Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940

To herald the completion of the decade-long restoration and modernization of the Library's original 1897 Thomas Jefferson Building and to celebrate its centenary, the Library is inviting the metropolitan area community for a free "Festival of Cultures" on Sunday, May 4. The event is supported by The Xerox Foundation, which is also funding the exhibition, "American Treasures of the Library of Congress" that opens May 1.

Highlights of the celebration, which will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, are tours of the magnificent art and architecture of the building's interior; views of the new colonnaded area studies reading rooms of the European, Asian, and African and Middle Eastern divisions; and visits to some of the elaborately decorated rooms that are normally not open to the public.

Musical groups such as Sweet Honey in the Rock; Celtic Thunder; the nationally known bluegrass group, The Seldom Scene, which is based in the Washington.area; Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys; and the Orioles, the legendary rhythm and blues group, with hand dancers, have been invited to perform on a stage that will be set up on the Jefferson Building's grounds.

Celebrity readings and treasure hunts, along with other special activities for children, will take place throughout the day. Food vendors will be available for those who wish to purchase lunch and snacks. All events are free.

The Capitol Hill community is also celebrating Friendship House's "Market Day" on May 4, providing yet another reason to spend the day on the Hill. The 34th annual Market Day, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 7th and Pennsylvania Ave. S.E., features food, games for children, crafts, music and much more. It benefits Friendship House, a Capitol Hill fixture since 1904, which provides a wide range of child development and community services.

Visitors are advised to use Metrorail (Capitol South on the Blue and Orange lines or Union Station on the Red Line) to reach the Library of Congress as well as Eastern Market (Eastern Market on Blue and Orange lines).


PR 97-051
ISSN 0731-3527