The D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board handed advocates of preserving Modern architecture a victory late last month, voting 8 to 0 on June 28 to name the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library here a historic landmark. The library's status was uncertain at the time of a June 20 Monitor story on the subject.
Renowned Modern architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the library in 1968, but many preservationists were concerned that the city planned to sell the rundown building with no guarantee of protection from demolition. Now that the library is a historic landmark, Washington's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) must approve any future changes to the exterior or first floor of the building.
Tersh Boasberg, chairman of HPRB, says that the decision to grant the library landmark status was based both on its architectural importance as well as its historical significance as the only building in Washington named in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Despite talks last year of moving the library, it will continue to serve as the central branch of the D. …