Marsh & Peter designed an ornate Renaissance Revival style library building in a diminutive form for Takoma Park. The building’s footprint measured only 58 by 85 feet. The one-story, hipped roof, brick and stone building was distinguished by its wide cornice articulated by dentil molding and frieze, and an imposing central entry surmounted by a semi-circular arched fanlight and flanked by Ionic pilasters. Two symmetrically balanced, semi-circular arched windows flanked the main entry.

restored vestibule side view

Restored vestibule side view

The interior of the library was designed to contain a main reading room (measuring 35 by 55 feet) at the front of the building, and a combined children’s room/lecture hall (measuring 31 by 33 feet) at the rear. This multipurpose room at the rear incorporated a recessed alcove with a fireplace and raised platform for presentations. The basement space was occupied by a librarian’s restroom, a small kitchen, a workroom and a living room for the janitor. The interior woodwork was rendered in quartered light oak and finished in a silver gray shade. The walls were painted in various shades of ivory, white and soft green. Particular attention was paid to the lighting, heating and ventilation of the building with the most current technology being employed. In addition, an intercommunicating telephone system was installed.

The new branch was intended to serve the citizens of Takoma Park, who were mainly employed with the federal government, their children and the residents of the densely populated surrounding areas. These areas included Brightwood, Park View, Petworth, Saul’s Addition, Sligo and Forest Glen. Two large public schools located in Takoma Park and Brightwood also influenced the siting of the public library branch in Takoma Park, as it was hoped that the library would work in conjunction with the public schools to educate the youth of these neighborhoods.