Being new to the DC area and a new employee here at the Library of Congress, I have been very curious about the buildings, their architecture and history.
This building, built as an annex, was completed and opened to the public in 1939. It was initially named The Annex building. On June 13, 1980 it became known as the John Adams Building in honor of our second president who approved the law establishing the Library of Congress.
It is an interesting building with some unique features. When entering the building you are greeted by huge brass doors depicting the history of the written word in sculpted figures.
On the side of the building facing Independence Avenue you find a beautiful sculpted owl as you go up the steps. This entrance is no longer used, but it was originally intended for the Copyright Office. Currently you will find tables where one can stop and enjoy a bite, rest, or people watch.
In the lobby area of the 5th floor, before you enter the reading room, there are two decorative pedestals (one at each end) that remind me of a scene from Indiana Jones.
Some amazing photos have been taken of this building. You can find them in the Prints & Photographs Catalog with a subject search for Library of Congress Adams Building.
For more history of the buildings, doors, and architecture that makes up the Library of Congress, visit On These Walls.