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Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Washington, DC

SmootDC is working directly with District of Columbia Public Library and the Design team professionals for the Martin Luther King Memorial Library restoration. The project includes a major modernization to the existing four-story, 440,000 sq. ft. (gross) library with a one-story “penthouse/public roof garden” addition to the roof. The first floor will include a “great hall” performance space and an informal performance space and café & patio. Level A will include a 19,000 sq. ft. fab lab (i.e. “maker space”), creative lab and rehearsal spaces. The third floor will include a grand reading room, and the fourth floor will feature an auditorium and special collections. The rooftop will feature event space with a terrace.

SmootDC and its joint venture partner were engaged at early Schematic design phase to monitor the project throughout design and construction. A year of design progress, detailed milestone estimating, value engineering proposals and vetting, constructability reviews, and subcontractor input has resulted in a Guaranteed Maximum Price that satisfies the programmatic requirements and end user operational needs, preserves the historic integrity of the landmark facility and comfortably fits within the Owner budget.

Aspects of the project required sensitive handling of neighborhood interests, delicate preservation of original building fabric, and balance of programmatic needs of the end user. With our staff of Preconstruction Experts we monitored the design progress, identified cost creep and proposed value engineering solutions in the best interests of the client. We solicited subcontractor proposals and prepared scopes of work to ensure comprehensive coverage of the required work, and we are providing on site management, coordination and supervision. Detailed estimating and review of subcontractor proposals was submitted in an open book format with recommendations for award and for the evaluation of the Owner to yield the most advantageous project team to execute the work.

The restorations will be complete in 2020 and the library will re-open in downtown DC.


Project Details

DC Public Library
332,000 square feet
Services Performed

Construction Manager


LEED Platinum - Pending
2016 DC Preservation League Award
2016 Vision Award
2016 American In-house Design Award
2016 Award of Merit Renovation/Restoration
2016 Renovation/Restoration ProjectOver $100M