The restoration project for the Folger’s exterior façade was begun in 2018 and completed in 2019. The soft Georgia marble used in the construction of the Folger 85 years ago—and many other Washington-area buildings—was showing signs of severe weathering. Restoring the façade was part of the Folger's important work to preserve our landmark building for generations of future visitors.
The Folger’s buildings and grounds remained open to the public, researchers, and staff during this work, with the exception of the Elizabethan Garden.
The restoration project included cleaning the façade’s stone as well as testing and replacing (as needed) the anchors holding the stone to the building. The metal flashing at the roof line was changed out for stone.
The nine bas reliefs along the front of the building, each of which features a scene from a different Shakespeare play, also underwent cleaning and conservation treatments. They have been beloved by Folger visitors since the opening of the building in 1932.