The Cleveland Public Library Board of Trustees has announced SO-IL of Brooklyn, New York, and JKurtz Architects of Cleveland as the winning team in the design competition for the Library’s new Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch. The international design competition, funded by a $93,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation, resulted in dozens of entries from around the world. In addition to SO-IL + JKurtz, the finalist teams included MASS Design Group & LDA Architects and Bialosky Cleveland & Vines Architecture.
SO-IL + JKurtz's design presented a concept for the library branch around Dr. King’s “table of brotherhood” from his famous 1963 “I Have a Dream" speech. This expansive table would serve as a multi-use space with both practical and symbolic applications. The firms also proposed elements including a staircase leading to an elevated space (which will display the Anisfield-Wolf collection), an interactive podium called the Freedom Map, a Living Wall projecting movable words, and a Virtual Garden.
The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch will be constructed on Euclid Avenue in the University Circle neighborhood. The current Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch, located at 1962 Stokes Boulevard, will remain open until the new branch is complete. The Library is now prepared to enter into negotiations with the architects for this project.
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