D.C.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library to lease space

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Experts in architecture and development say Washington's main public library could share space with a tenant to fund major renovations needed to keep the building operational.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (Photo: Flickr/rockcreek)

The panel led by the Urban Land Institute says the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library could lease about 200,000 square feet to a school, museum or nonprofit group. That could generate millions annually for renovations.

The 40-year-old historic landmark building was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Its poor condition includes problems with the ventilation system, asbestos and outdated elevators. Renovations could cost $250 million.

The Washington Post reports the panel also found the city could sell the property for as much as $70 million and move the library. Chief librarian Ginnie Cooper says staying at the downtown location is preferred.

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