It’s always a good time to visit MLK Library, but especially now during an exhibit of original Leonardo da Vinci drawings from the Codex Atlanticus – the first time 12 of these drawings have been exhibited in the U.S.
Entrance to the exhibit is free – when you get to the library, you register at the desk in the foyer and are given a place in a virtual line. The line has been just a few minutes wait on weekdays but much longer on weekends. The exhibit runs through August 20th. More about the exhibit.
While you are waiting, make sure to see some of the other parts of the library, especially if you haven’t been to see it since the 2020 renovation.
The view of the stairs you see all over Instagram:
There are always a few other exhibits at the library. There’s currently a great Doo-Wop exhibit on the main floor.
There’s a 56-foot mural on the main floor, painted in 1986 as a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., that was carefully preserved during the library’s renovation.
It’s the only Mies van der Rohe building in D.C., and the last building he designed before his death.
The rooftop is a new feature of the 2020 renovation. It’s got spaces to sit and chill, and this summer a series of go-go and punk concerts.
The views from the rooftop include a great view of the Portrait Gallery:
You can also look directly into some nearby buildings:
The architecture is even more striking when viewed at night:
We last wrote about MLK Library when it was just about to reopen in 2020 after having been closed for several years for renovations – with some before and after photos of the library. Fortunately, the iconic features of the Mies van der Rohe architecture have been retained.