- This article is about the main public library of Washington, D.C. For others, see Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
(MLKML) is the central facility of the District of Columbia Public Library
(DCPL). Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
designed the 400,000 square foot (37,000 m²) steel, brick, and glass structure, and it is a rare example of modern architecture
in Washington, D.C.
This library was Mies' last building and his only one ever constructed in Washington, D.C. Additionally, it is the only public library ever designed by Mies. Completed in 1972, the building cost $18 million. The building has been plagued by neglect and problems with its HVAC
system. DCPL has recently restored lighting on the entire first floor. DCPL has also recently completed elevator and restroom renovations throughout the building.
On June 28, 2007 the District of Columbia
’s Historic Preservation Review Board designated this building a historic landmark. The designation, which applies to the exterior as well as interior spaces, seeks to preserve Mies' original design while allowing the library necessary flexibility to operate as a contemporary library facility. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places
in 2007.Named in honor of the American civil rights
leader, the building's lobby includes a large mural of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by artist Don Miller
Prior to... Read More