America's Most Beautiful College Libraries
Riggs Library, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
The university’s main library from 1891 to 1970, Riggs is no longer open regularly to students, but some get the treat of attending an event, dinner, or lecture in this elegant space (it easily outshines its workaday replacement, Lauinger Library). Designed by architect Paul Pelz—also behind the Library of Congress—Riggs is one of the few remaining cast-iron libraries and still stocks 35,000 volumes. Guests have included King Abdullah II of Jordan; Ben Bradlee, vice president of The Washington Post; First Lady Michelle Obama; and His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales.