Convention Center
Comment on Old Convention Center Site, Speak Out to Save MLK Library, 11/08/05
By Alex Padro
Nov 8, 2005, 07:52

On Tuesday, November 8, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development will hold the first community workshop to solicit input into the master planning for the city's Old Convention Center Site.

After an initial project overview, participants will visit stations organized by issues. These stations will provide information on alternatives for the overall layout of the site, affordable housing, jobs, traffic, parking, open space, retail, green building, environmental issues, and the controversial new central library project.

This is an excellent opportunity for the many DC residents who support the renovation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, not its sale for development and replacement with a new, smaller library on the Old Convention Center site, to raise their objections to constructing a new library one block away from the current building.

The Williams' administration's preference to replace rather than renovate the MLK Library does not have significant public support. Using revenue from commercial development or sale of the 50,000 square foot footprint allotted for a new library on the Old Convention Center site could be used to finance a dramatic renovation of our current central library building, with a new fifth floor, skylit central atrium, and theater-style auditorium, and would allow the building to continue to serve as the city's main library for many decades. This meeting will be a good opportunity for supporters of renovation rather than replacement to start sending this message directly to those responsible for planning the development on the site.

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