The Folger’s 1932 building, designed by architect Paul Cret, will be undergoing a major renovation beginning in early 2020 to expand public space, improve accessibility, and enhance the experience for all who come to the Folger.
During the multi-year renovation, public access to the building will be restricted, but Folger programs and events will continue at other locations in Washington, DC, and around the country.
During Construction: Folger Programs and Other Information
How will construction affect visitors, audiences, teachers and students, researchers, members, and neighbors? 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.
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
Construction concludes, and the building reopens