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

The DC Public Library has released preliminary design images of the renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.  The design will be presented for comment at a community meeting on Monday.


Changes proposed in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library renovation design 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.


“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. “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.” 


At Monday’s community meeting, the architect team of Martinez + Johnson Architecture and Mecanoo Architecture will walk attendees through the preliminary design. The architects will also show how public feedback has been incorporated into the design.


After Monday’s meeting, the Library will continue to collect feedback from the public on the preliminary design using its online crowdsourcing portal  The Library will also begin preparing initial submissions to regulatory agencies.  A revised designed will be developed using feedback from Monday’s meeting, continued public input and feedback from regulatory agencies.


The library, which first opened in 1972, is being renovated because many systems need to be updated or replaced. In addition, many aspects of library service have changed greatly in the 40 years since the building opened.


Monday’s community meeting will begin at 6:00 pm at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library.