Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library


Location: Washington, D.C.


Intent:  Designed by famed Modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library is a striking example of the International Style in contrast to the Beaux Arts architecture typical of downtown D.C. In June 2007, with EHT Traceries as preservation consultants, MLK Library was listed in the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites and National Register of Historic Places. Traceries subsequently prepared Design Guidelines to preserve the significant features of the building. Following a public design competition, the D.C. Public Library selected a design team to implement a vision for a twenty-first century library facility within MLK Library. EHT Traceries was retained to serve as historic preservation consultants for the forthcoming rehabilitation and to guide the project through the entitlements process. Because the building is owned by the District of Columbia and located in the Washington Central Area, the process is subject to oversight by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the National Capital Planning Commission, and the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board, in addition to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  Traceries led the team through these complex design review and regulatory processes, helping to balance preservation interests with the needs of a modern facility.

Client:  DC Public Library

Size:  420,465 square feet

Dates:  2014-2016