Dumbarton Oaks Research Library & Collection

Main House Renovation

Project at a Glance

Washington, DC


Cox Graae + Spack Architects

Project Type


Project Overview

> Phased, occupied renovation of historic house

> Historic window replacements and storm window installations for additional water infiltration protection

> During WWII a series of diplomatic meetings took place at Dumbarton Oaks resulting in the United Nations Charter

Dumbarton Oaks, a research institution that is part of Harvard University, is devoted to the study of Byzantine, Garden and Landscape and Pre-Columbian studies. Originally constructed in 1800, the Main House includes a historic Music Room and other additions by McKim, Mead and White, and Philip Johnson’s 1963 Pre-Columbian Gallery.
This phased occupied renovation to the Main House included the replacement of the historic windows and the installation of new storm windows throughout the building. The museum lighting was replaced throughout the galleries and in the Rare Books Library. New millwork was installed in the Coin Seminar Room and renovations to select conference rooms and offices in the basement and on the third floor were completed.