After today’s news conference announcing the appointment of two top aides, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) took some questions about the future of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.
On Thursday evening, he was given a private briefing on the findings of an Urban Land Institute review of the historic 1972 building designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Today, Gray demurred on on offering a full-throated response to the panel’s findings — including the potential for setting aside part of the building for a non-library tenant — pending a final report expected in about two months.
My voice recorder malfunctioned, so pardon the lack of direct quotes here, but Gray expressed confidence in Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper and a commitment to keeping a central library in downtown Washington. He was somewhat less fully committed to promising that the library would remain in the Mies building, whose architectural significance he made sure to note.
Long story short, the Urban Land Institute review might well mean that the MLK conversion train has left the station, but Gray isn’t driving it — yet.