This Thursday, June 8, a massive $208 million rehabilitation will begin at Washington, D.C.’s central library, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Since March 4, 2017, the library has been closed to the public, and it will continue to be closed until 2020.
While closed, the library system will relocate to 1990 K Street NW. The D.C. Public Library system has also expanded hours at all 25 of the neighborhood libraries.
The new MLK Library that will unfold, designed by Martinez + Johnson Architecture and Mecanoo, will offer 3D printers in a maker’s space as well as renovated reading rooms, public art, and outdoor seating spaces. Expect a new auditorium and conference center, cafe, and a rooftop event space with a terrace. The children’s area will also be larger and more interactive. Outside, there will be public art and outdoor seating spaces for a new cafe.
According to a press release, a “King Mural,” measuring 56-feet-by-7-feet was installed at the library. The D.C. Public Library commissioned Jamaican-born artist Donald Miller to create the oil painting, depicting the life and work of Dr. King and the American Civil Rights Movement. Once the modernization is complete, the mural will return to the library’s Great Hall.
To get a sneak peek at what the new library will look like, check out the renderings below.
[UPDATE: Newer renderings were added to this article.]