The Library of Congress' New Madison Building:

Reasons for, and Effects of, Delays and Escalating Costs

LCD-79-330: Published: Sep 17, 1979. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 1982.

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A review of the Library of Congress James Madison Memorial building was concerned with (1) increases in the project's cost, (2) delays in completion, and (3) space utilization in the building. The legislative, financial, and bidding history of the building, its exterior and interior design, its facilities, and its current physical status also came under review.

Congress approved the building for construction in 1965 at an estimated cost of $75 million. The original completion date was January 1971. The Architect of the Capitol most recently estimated completion by January 1980 at a cost of $134,175,000, not including the costs of furnishings ($27 million), land acquisition ($5.7 million), and expansion of the Capitol Power Plant ($5 to $6 million). The major factor contributing to increased costs was inflation resulting from delays in funding, design, and construction. The Architect's estimate of costs was based on a completion date that the interior finishing contractor claimed might not be met; therefore, the Architect's cost estimate and most recent request for funds may not prove sufficient. Since its initial planning, the Madison Building's function evolved from primarily a book collection facility into a facility for office-type activities. Its capacity would not solve the Library's long-term space needs and the Library would have to retain at least half of its rental space after completion of the building.

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