Opinions about the external appearance of Lauinger Library differ. Press critiques of the building at the time of its dedication were, however, generally favorable. The Evening Star described it as 'adding an imposing new shape to the Potomac Palisades setting', The Georgetowner termed it 'an architectural landmark' that 'excites the eye and demands of the mind' and The Washington Post commented that 'the architects managed to blend it into the cityscape, if not unobtrusively, [then] successfully.' And the Library's design was recognized by the American Institute of Architects in 1976.
1976 The American Institute of Architects in cooperation with The American Library Association present this AWARD of MERIT to John Carl Warnecke and Associates and Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library for Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library in recognition of distinguished accomplishment in library architecture
Louis de Moll [signature] President, The American Institute of Architects
Allie Beth Martin [signature] President, The American Library Association