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What ever happened to Lloyd House?


The Alexandria Library spent most of the 1990s on a building boom. A new central (main) library was constructed on Duke Street opposite the former site of Cameron Station, now a residential area. The Barrett Branch on Queen Street, shed of its "main library" space requirements had room to house the history and genealogy collections formerly in Lloyd House and we moved over here in May 2000. In addition, the Barrett Library serves as a downtown branch with full public library service including services to children.


Our last two years in Lloyd House were difficult. Shelving space was non-existent and we had to triple layer the books on the windowsills to store the collection. An architectural engineering study revealed stability issues and we had to pack over 4,000 books (about 25% of the collection) to off-site storage with no access and discontinue use of a lot of shelving because the floor was not safe for the 150 pounds/square foot floor loading requirement for a library even though we knew at that point that we'd be leaving the building.


After vacating Lloyd House, the building was closed for about three years for extensive renovation that included shoring up the floor and ceiling joists that affected the use by the Library. Space was opened up on the first floor on the north side and a catering kitchen and restroom were added on that level. At this time Lloyd House is the headquarters for the Office of Historic Alexandria, the city agency responsible for the museums, Archaeology, etc. So, it is in use as light office space. The public spaces on the first floor and the backyard garden are used as rentals for social functions.


The Alexandria Library moved its historical and genealogical collections to the Lloyd House in 1976 because the collection outgrew the space it had in the Barrett Library. By 2000, we had clearly outgrown Lloyd House and there was plenty to be had (more space, increased service hours to include evenings, and modern conveniences) with a return to the Barrett Library.

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