January 19, 2014 Mies van der Rohe

Finalists to Present MLK Library Ideas

Mies MLK Library

Happy Martin Luther King Day. I thought it was appropriate to give an update on the expected renovation and modernization of Mies van der Rohe’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in DC. In late December, three architecture teams were selected as finalists to present plans for the library. Each firm will present two ideas: “One of a stand-alone library and one of a mixed-use building with additional floors,” according to the library. “Both design ideas are intended to show each team’s vision and approach to renovating the central library. No decisions have been made on the type or extent of the renovations or additions to the library.”

The three firms selected are: Mecanoo/Martinez + Johnson Architecture; Patkau Architects/Ayers Saint Gross with Krueck +Sexton; and STUDIOS Architecture/The Freelon Group.

In early February, the firms’ design ideas will be displayed at the library, in neighborhood libraries and on the library’s website. The three teams will present their design ideas and approach at a public meeting Saturday, Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. in the MLK Library’s Great Hall at 901 G St. NW.

If you want to make recommendations, you can submit your ideas through this link.

The only Mies-designed building in Washington, the library was designated in 2007 by the District of Columbia’s Historic Preservation Review Board as a historic landmark–both the interior and exterior. It was also listed that same year on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mies' MLK Library

The Mies-designed MLK Library was designed in 1968 and finished in 1972. Experts are examining what should be done with the historic building.