The Folger’s 1932 building, designed by architect Paul Cret, is undergoing a major renovation to expand public space, improve accessibility, and enhance the experience for all who come to the Folger.
During Construction: Folger Programs and Other Information
During construction, our historic building at 201 East Capitol Street is not accessible to visitors for exhibitions, tours, events, or research. However, Folger performances and programs continue online and around Washington, DC, and across the country, as pandemic conditions allow. How will construction affect you? Learn more
Explore the Renovation Renderings
New Spaces and Experiences
Entry Plazas & Gardens
The building renovation project will add a 12,000-square-foot public pavilion under the Folger’s front lawn with large, welcoming, and fully accessible entry plazas for all visitors on both the east- and west-facing sides of the building.
The landscaped entry plazas will connect with open gardens on either side of the building, with paths and benches for visitors. A newly-commissioned poem by Rita Dove will greet visitors to our new western entrance.
When the building reopens to the public, there will be permanent and temporary exhibitions available year-round in two large exhibition halls featuring priceless works from the Folger collection. One will be focused on Shakespeare and the other—the Stuart and Mimi Rose Rare Book and Manuscript Exhibition Hall—on other works and items representative of the early modern world. The Great Hall will transform from an exhibition space to a public gathering place.
Restoration work begins on the Folger’s historic façade
April 15, 2019
The Wonder of Will campaign launches
January 4, 2020
Final day for research in the Folger Reading Rooms before construction begins
January 5, 2020
Final day for daytime visitors to the Folger main building before construction begins; the building will remain open to the public for evening events
March 1, 2020
Final performance in the Elizabethan Theatre for the 2019-2020 Folger Theatre season
Public evening access to the building ends
August 26, 2020
Puck statue and fountain disassembled for safe storage during construction
Plinth dismantled and excavation begins