Panel Explores Future of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Building

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central LibraryNews Releases

Panel Explores Future of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Building

Urban Land Institute to Conduct Five-day Review

The DC Public Library in partnership with the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), will engage the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to review and assess the value of the Mies van der Rohe designed Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library building, 901 G St., NW, and make recommendations on how to leverage the value of the building to benefit the District of Columbia.

On November 13 - November 18, ULI will convene an advisory services panel of national experts to review demographic and trend data; interview area stakeholders including civic and community leaders, elected officials, advisory neighborhood commissioners, commercial and residential developers, architects, business organizations, financial institutions and religious institutions; discuss potential uses of the current building; and discuss the ideal location for a downtown central library.

“We have successfully rebuilt and renovated about half of the city’s libraries,” said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian for the District of Columbia. “As we look to improving the remaining libraries, we have to examine what should happen with the MLK Library building.” 

“It’s important to note that the panel will not address the need for a central library,” continued Cooper.  “The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will continue to exist and be located downtown.”

The advisory panel is comprised of national experts in the fields of architecture, urban planning, commercial and residential development, finance and library sciences.
On Fri., November 18, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, the ULI panel will present their findings and recommendations. The presentation is open to the public. 

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library building opened in 1972 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The Urban Land Institute is a D.C.-based nonprofit research and education membership organization.  ULI has held several advisory panels in the District of Columbia including St. Elizabeth’s Campus, Great Streets and, most recently, Gallaudet University.