Surely, there must be something more worthy of Ralph Nader's time and energy than fighting library renovations. However, it's safe to say that we'll probably hear more complaints from his general direction now that the city is seeking an architect to renovate the Martin Luther King Library. District Dynamos, a group backed by Nader dollars, has already stated that they'll fight any attempt to renovate the building with a private partner. Yet, the city is doing just that: seeking an architect to update the structure conceived in the late 1960s by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It certainly makes sense considering that MLK Library just updated the technology within the library that they'd also want to update, say, the elevators. Requests for qualification are due by September 23rd.
Earlier this year, the D.C. Court of Appeals denied the request from the D.C. Library Renaissance Project, the overarching Nader group, to halt the progress of West End Library. Although Nader argued that the project violated affordable housing guidelines, the Zoning Commission and the developer Eastbanc ended up moving forward with the project that will include a new library, 200 residential units and a new fire station. While respecting affordable housing guidelines is a noble cause, there must be other people who see the irony in a group whose title literally means "rebirth" opposing renovations to a run down public building. So, here we go again?
· D.C. seeking architect for Martin Luther King Library upgrades [WaPo]
· Wanted: An Architect in Search of Controversy [WCP]
· Nader-backed group opposes creative reuse of MLK Library [GGW]
· Court Rules Against Ralph Nader Group in Library Fight [WCP]
· D.C. Library Digital Commons Opens With 3-D Printing, Book Pressing, and Lots of Computers [DCist]