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Tim Cook and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser greet customers at the grand opening of Apple Carnegie Library

Apple fans in Washington, D.C. were treated to an exciting Saturday morning at Mount Vernon Square. Crowds, cameras, and special guests gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Apple Carnegie Library, the most ambitious store project Apple has ever completed. Tim Cook and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had the honor of opening the store’s doors, and Apple executives Deirdre O’Brien and Phil Schiller were also in attendance to welcome customers.

Ahead of the official grand opening, we brought you an in-depth look at the beautifully restored Carnegie Library and D.C. History Center, highlighting some of the impressive details and firsts for Apple in the historic space.

As soon as the store’s doors were opened at 10:00 A.M., every room of the cavernous building quickly filled with visitors who began lining up more than three hours earlier. Some of those visitors traveled from remote locations to attend, and many others proudly wore vintage Apple shirts from past openings or special events.

In addition to meeting the special guests, the first visitors through the doors also received free tote bags decorated with Apple Carnegie Library artwork and containing a poster listing the full lineup for the StoryMakers Festival, the special lineup of Today at Apple sessions planned for D.C.

Following the grand opening, the first unique events were held in the Forum as a kickoff to what Apple hopes will be a vibrant future of shared creativity for the city. A large crowd gathered to watch live illustration by local artist Jamilla Okubo. A live storytelling performance by music group The Vocal Chords followed.

In the store’s west reading room, early customers could receive personalized poetry written on a vintage typewriter. Almost without exception, every room of the store was represented by sign language interpreters helping visitors in need. For the first time in many years, the library felt like it had a purpose again. The energy in the Forum was contagious.

Nearly 30 minutes after opening, a long line of customers was still filing through the front doors and inside. If you’d like to see the new store but didn’t make it for the grand opening, don’t worry. The StoryMakers Festival runs through June 29th with events that will make visiting at a later date still feel special. You can check out the full calendar here.

If you attend a store opening, spot something interesting, or attend a great Today at Apple session, we’d love to see your photos. Follow 9to5Mac’s retail guide for in-depth coverage of the latest Apple Store news.

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Avatar for Michael Steeber Michael Steeber

I’m a Creative Editor passionate about Apple Retail and design. My stories highlight the work of talented artists, designers, and customers through a unique lens of architecture, creativity, and community.

Twitter: @MichaelSteeber