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When Starchitecture Becomes An Expensive Headache

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The Mies van der Rohe-designed library at 901 G St. N.W. needs millions of dollars worth of maintenance work and that is just to make the existing building up to snuff. To make the Martin Luther King Library a building that meets the needs of a larger, more technology-driven community it is going to take even more than a few million dollars. Numbers and ideas were bandied around last night as stakeholders and the various teams on tap to improve the building made suggestions and showed off impressive renderings of light-filled spaces with lots of computers. All that impressiveness adds up to an enormous financial commitment for the District (replacing the single-paned windows is a $12M expense all by itself) that they're still wrestling with how to fund. One idea is to rent out retail/commercial spaces on some of the floors.

· District weighs proposals for renovating MLK Library while preserving historic status [WaPo]
· The Future of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library [DCLibrary]