As with any Ludwig Mies van der Rohe building, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library runs on perfect symmetry. If something goes wrong, like a dead light bulb or a broken window, it immediately sticks out.

In September, Eric Coard, the chief business officer with D.C. Public Library, noticed a crack in a window on the flagship library’s fourth floor. The window, located at the end of a corridor, faces 9th Street NW. The crack, he says, was 12 inches long and looked “just like a snake.” “I thought it posed a danger,” he explains, adding that the glass was promptly removed and replaced with wood. The problem is that window has remained boarded up. Coard says a finalized contract to fix the window should be imminent.

“It’s gone on a little longer than I would have liked,” Coard admits. “We’re just trying to get the window replaced now.”

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