The Mark Twain Branch of the Detroit Public Libraries closed in 1996 for renovations and never reopened. What originally started as minor roof repair project grew into a total rehabilitation that went unfinished. Various efforts to revive the building never got past the drawing board, with the main concern being the “discovery” of asbestos. Some of the books left behind when the library closed were taken out and made available at the Mark Twain Annex, which is now facing permanent closure in 2011.
A final community meeting in July of 2011 sealed the fate of the Twain library. Over the objections of community leaders and residents, the DPL board confirmed that despite passing a tax levy that explicitly included funds to renovate the Twain library, it intended to demolish the building instead. Asbestos abatement started in September with demolition completed by October.