Over the past 12 years, DC Public Library has modernized or rebuilt 22 libraries -- an astounding average of almost two per year. During this period DC Public Library has rebuilt or renovated approximately 400,000 square feet of library space and an additional 150,000 square feet of interim library space to ensure continuity of operations during construction. With the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in September 2020, the Library added 426,000 more square feet.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Modernization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, D.C.’s central library, is complete. The flagship library features a spectacular new, vibrant and transparent entryway; sculptured monumental stairs; large auditorium and conference center; creative spaces for fabrication, music production and art creation; ground-level café with patio; double-height reading room; newly designed special collections space for researchers and research enthusiasts, and a rooftop event space with a reading terrace.
The building, designed by modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was designated a historic landmark in 2007.
The $211 million rehabilitation will soon become the center of activity for the already vibrant Chinatown area.
Learn more about the modernization plans here.
DC Public Library is building and renovating libraries across the city to provide state-of-the-art library services. To date, 21 libraries have been completely rebuilt or renovated. Two projects are in construction, and one more is in the design process.
Check out the many awards the completed projects have received.
The library is building environmentally friendly and sustainable libraries. All new buildings and renovations meet or exceed LEED Silver Certification. Read more about the library’s green designs.
Community input is a critical part of the design process and the library has sought feedback in a number of ways:
- Community participation on architect selection panels
- Community meetings to get feedback during the design process
- Focus groups and surveys to learn what services a community values most
- Outreach at neighborhood meetings
- Online surveys and forums for public discussion