Although everyone from the architects at Mecanoo and Martinez & Johnson to library officials have stressed that the designs for the Martin Luther King Library renovation are preliminary and subject to change, there's now been a more permanent decision about the redesign: no residences. UrbanTurf reports that Martinez & Johnson spokeswoman Tiffany Erdman has stated that while a mixed-use addition to the library's roof may still be in the picture, it won't include apartments or condos. This ought to come as at least a partial relief to Ralph Nader. He and his Library Renaissance Project have made it clear that should private dollars play a part in the renovation, that they would make every attempt to block the project and additional residences would almost certainly include partnering with a private developer.
Mixed-use options haven't been ruled out, so Mies Van Der Rohe fans who balked at the thought of a tower above the existing building shouldn't breathe a sigh of relief just yet. At Monday night's interest meeting at the Martin Luther King Library, Chief Librarian Richard Reyes Gavilan and director of Facilities Management and Capital Projects Jeff Bonvechio said that they were still far away from determining what, if anything, would join forces with the library. "The best thing we could do is to submit a request for letters of interest for those interested in sharing the space and then evaluating them," said Bonvechio. Both mentioned that any additions would be subject to the public appetite and would need to fit within the ecosystem of the library. A school was mentioned offhandedly as a possibility.
· The MLK Library Redesign Won't Have Residences [UrbanTurf]
· All MLK Library Coverage [CDC]