This is archived information. It may contain outdated contact names, telephone numbers, Web links, or other information. For up-to-date information visit pages by topic or contact our Office of Public Affairs at For a list of public affairs officers by beat, visit the GSA Newsroom.

GSA Administrator Johnson Unveils Major Renovations to Atlanta’s MLK Federal Building

First federal building named after civil rights icon rededicated.

GSA # 10699

January 14, 2011
Contact: Sara Merriam, (202) 525-8165

ATLANTA — Today, GSA Administrator Martha Johnson, Rep. John Lewis (GA-5), Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, and members of the King family gathered for a rededication of Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building. GSA recently completed renovations to the Depression-era building, the first federal building nationwide named to honor the civil rights leader.

“It’s only fitting that a historic and sustainable building embody a historic and sustainable dream,” said Johnson. “GSA’s renovation of this Atlanta landmark shows what can be achieved when we maintain historic elements that make a building special while integrating new technologies to make it more efficient. This renovation will ensure that the building honors Dr. King’s legacy long into the future.”

The renovation showcases many “green” technologies and historic preservation practices. For example, all materials used were either recycled or manufactured within 500 miles of the site to cut down on the environmental impact of the renovation. GSA also cut the buildings’ long term energy use by installing an adjustable lighting system that takes into account natural light, low flow plumbing fixtures, and an insulated and reflective roof to help regulate the temperature inside the building. To preserve the historic building, approximately 6,000 façade stones were removed, tagged and cataloged for precise replacement in their original location. Inside, original paint colors, plaster and stonework were restored.

GSA employed more than 800 people in the multiyear, $62 million renovation. Much of the building’s aging electrical, mechanical, and plumbing infrastructure was replaced, adding decades to the useful life of the building.

The MLK Building served as a post office from its completion in 1933 until GSA acquired it in 1983. In 1988, it became the first federal building to bear the name of the famous civil rights leader. It has housed several federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Currently, the building serves as a regional headquarters for the U.S. General Services Administration.

View gallery>>

View video and story>>

Read speech>>

# # #

As the federal government's workplace solutions provider, the U.S. General Services Administration works to foster an effective, sustainable and transparent government for the American people. GSA’s expertise in government workplace solutions include:
• Effective management of government assets including more than 9,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 210,000 vehicles in the federal fleet, and preservation of historic federal properties;
• Leveraging the government’s buying power through responsible acquisition of products and services making up more than 11 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars;
• Providing innovative technology solutions to enhance government efficiency and increase citizen engagement; and,
• Promoting responsible use of federal resources through development of governmentwide policies ranging from federal travel to property and management practices.

print Share Icon Last Reviewed 2017-08-13