Washington, D.C.’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library located at 901 G St. NW has been under renovation since 2017. With around $221 million being spent, the facility is planned to reopen in fall next year.
As part of the refurbishment efforts, the library will have a large main entrance and the brick walls at the east and west of the entrance will be replaced by high glass walls, which will make the stairs visible to guests.
Nekisha Durrett, a public school teacher, was previously selected to decorate the glass walls.
Her artwork will consist of more than a thousand pictures of protest buttons and items with prints relating to King. “The work will be a unique visual interpretation of Dr. King’s legacy as it connects to the Library today,” D.C. Public Library (DCPL) said about the work in a press release.
DCPL’s special collections will be used among other materials for the special decoration.
In addition, a “welcoming reading room” with comfortable seating, a cafe and an outdoor space of 4,300 square feet, a large performance space, a conference center, as well as a 14,900 square foot rooftop area, are part of the new design.
There will also be new artwork celebrating Dr. King’s legacy and depicting significant moments in his life across the building.
Following the reopening, the place is expected to receive more than one million visitors in a year.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is the central facility of the DCPL. It was designed by German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. A total of $18 million was spent on the construction of the library when it was completed in 1972. The structure in considered to be a rare example of modern architecture in the nation’s capital.
In 2007, the District’s Historic Preservation Review Board designated the library a historic landmark.
It was temporarily shut down on March 4, 2017 for a modernization project.