The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library received historic landmark status from the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board — which grants legal protection against demolition.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the glass and steel building in 1972… in my humble and amateur opinion, not his best example of modernist architecture.
I’ve spent time in this building. While I applaud the effort to save this example of architecture, it should not be the main branch of the DC public library.
1. It’s hard to find what you’re looking for.
2. It’s not a comfortable atmosphere to read in — poorly lit and claustrophic.
3. The few meeting rooms available are dark and gloomy.
4. The current interior layout and placement of resources (computer labs vs. books) does not maximize the use of space.
I’m hopeful that the powers that be here in DC figure out a way to keep and restore the building while providing it’s tax-paying citizens with a decent public library suitable to meet 21st century needs.