Analysis of MLK Library Begins
The Urban Land Institute issued its final report on a proposed plan for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library www.downtowndc.org/go/king-library (901 G Street) last month, setting the stage for the 40-year-old historic landmark to begin an in-depth analysis to determine the feasibility and cost of implementing the report’s recommended scenarios. Although an analysis of the city’s central library will begin next month, its fate has been discussed for years, particularly as Downtown has become more vibrant and property values have soared.
ULI presented preliminary details of its finding to help guide city leaders and residents in deciding the 400,000 gross-square-foot building and MLK Library’s future in November. The three scenarios for consideration include keeping the existing building as a library and lease excess space to another commercial, non-profit or municipal entity, maintaining the existing building for the library’s complete use and selling the building and identify another downtown location for the central library.
The Freelon Group, a nationally recognized architectural firm and the library’s architect-of-record, will examine how the library can be reconfigured for co-tenancy, add two additional floors, and identify, prioritize and provide cost estimates for needed major improvements. In addition, the library will work with the D.C. Office of Planning to explore whether there are viable, alternative locations in downtown that can accommodate a 225,000 SF central library.