Preliminary Designs for Renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Unveiled

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library opened its doors to the public in 1972. As many of its systems need to be updated or replaced, the facility will now be renovated to accommodate 21st century library services and meet the needs of the city’s residents. The DC Public Library has presented preliminary design images of the renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at a community meeting, on Monday, May 19.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library opened its doors to the public in 1972. As many of its systems need to be updated or replaced, the facility will now be renovated to accommodate 21st century library services and meet the needs of the city’s residents. The DC Public Library presented preliminary design images of the renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at a community meeting on May 19.

The facility is located at 901 G St., N.W. It was designed by the famous modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and in 2007, it was designated an historic landmark. For the renovation project, the DC Public Library has hired the team of Martinez + Johnson Architecture and Mecanoo Architecture.

The changes proposed for the renovated facility include opening the brick-enclosed stairwells facing the front of the building, adding public space on the rear of the first floor, and adding a garden penthouse/public terrace. Officials estimate the total cost of the project to be between $225 million and $250 million. The mayor and city council have committed approximately $200 million to the project in the capital budget.

“This design was created using feedback from the more than 2,000 people who told us what would make the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library spectacular,” said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, executive director of the DC Public Library, in a statement for the press. “Now that we’ve started to lay out how we will provide services in this renovated building, it is even more important that we hear from the public.”

The DC Public Library will continue to collect feedback from the public. It will also start preparing initial submissions to regulatory agencies. A revised design will be developed using feedback from Monday’s meeting and from regulatory agencies, as well as continued public input.

Photo credit: The DC Public Library