A stunning eye witness account of the legendary Georgetown Public Library fire!
At the corner of R and Wisconsin, NW, (I) watched the original flames come from the roof the day of the Georgetown DCPL (Georgetown DC Public Library) fire. A small crowd had gathered, and I joined them as we anxiously awaited the arrival of the fire trucks…
For more gripping details of this memorable day that went down in infamy for Georgetown view this article in The Hoya by James Hilson from May 1, 2007.
“That’s the one painting that I’m most upset about,” librarian Jerry McCoy said, pointing to an 1840 portrait of Yarrowmamout, a slave in 19th-century Georgetown. “This is what I was going to save if this ever happened.”
The Yarrowmamout portrait is part of the Peabody Collection, the library’s most valuable collection, which was kept on the building’s second floor, which is where the fire is thought to have started. It housed documents unique to the neighborhood’s history including Civil War-era maps, bound newspaper volumes and bound public records.The extent of the damage to the collection is unknown, however the Yarrowmamout portrait only suffered small damage, however McCoy said that the background of the painting appeared lighter than normal.