The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C. has been awarded with the prestigious Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award. Housed in a 37,000m2 landmark building that originally opened in 1972. It is the only library designed by modern master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In his work transparency and light stand as metaphors for freedom and knowledge, the very principles of Dr. King’s life teachings.
The vision for the MLK Library revolves around respect for the original architecture while updating the building to a modern library that reflects a focus on people, celebrating the exchange of knowledge, ideas and culture.
The Driehaus Awards recognize efforts such as citizens saving and maintaining important landmarks, companies and craftsmen restoring the richness of the past, public officials supporting preservation projects and legislation in their communities, and educators and journalists helping Americans understand the value of preservation. They are a part of the National Preservation Awards, which are presented annually at the PastForward conference. Winners are selected by an independent jury of national and international thought leaders from many disciplines.
The 2021 National Preservation Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, November 4, hosted by Bob Vila. The awards presented include the National Trust’s lifetime achievement award, the Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award; the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Awards; and the American Express Aspire Award, which recognizes an emerging leader in the preservation field.