June 3, 1998 Jefferson Building to Become Literary Landmark

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

In a ceremony on Neptune Plaza in front of the Library's Jefferson Building on Friday, June 26, the Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and the Center for the Book will designate the Thomas Jefferson Building as one of America's "literary landmarks." A program of readings at 10:30 a.m. will precede the ceremony, which will take place at 11 a.m. The program is free and open to the public. The Jefferson Building is located on First Street S.E., between East Capitol Street and Independence Avenue.

The Jefferson Building will join more than two dozen other buildings or sites that have been designated as literary landmarks by FOLUSA. The first site, designated in 1987 in partnership with the Florida Center for the Book, was Boat Slip F18 at the Bahia Mar resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the home of author Travis McGee's fictional boat Busted Flush.

"When it opened in 1897, the press often referred to the Jefferson Building as a 'Temple' of literature and the arts," said Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole, who also is the co-editor of the recently published book The Library of Congress: The Art and Architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building (W.W. Norton, 1997). "It is filled with names of authors, quotations from literary works, and murals and statues that evoke Western civilization's rich literary heritage. Shakespeare is the best represented author in the building's iconography, but Tennyson, Milton, Alexander Pope, Emerson, Dante, Sir Walter Scott, Longfellow, Benjamin Franklin, and James Russell Lowell are also well represented."

For information about the literary landmarks project and FOLUSA, a national organization that helps develop and support local Friends of Libraries groups, visit its site on the World Wide Web at: http://www.folusa.org External.

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries. For information about its activities, visit its site on the World Wide Web at: https://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/.


PR 98-091
ISSN 0731-3527