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Meeting of the Commission of Fine Arts

25 January 2005

The meeting was convened at 9:00 a.m. in the Commission of Fine Arts offices in the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.

Members present:
Hon. David M. Childs, Chairman
Hon. Earl A. Powell, Vice-Chairman
Hon. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel
Hon. Pamela Nelson
Hon. Witold Rybczynski

Staff present:
Mr. Frederick J. Lindstrom, Acting Secretary
Ms. Sue Kohler
Mr. Jose Martinez
Ms. Kristina Penhoet
Ms. Susan Raposa

National Capital Planning Commission staff present:
Ms. Nancy Witherell

The agenda order was abandoned for much of the meeting, due to the absence of a quorum until mid-morning and the delayed arrival of some of the presenters. See the Addendum at the end of these minutes for a list of the projects in the order in which they were discussed.

Administration

Approval of minutes of the 18 November meeting.

The minutes were approved without objection.

Dates of next meetings were approved as:
17 February 2005
17 March 2005
21 April 2005

Change in date for the submission deadline in November 2005 from the 10th to 9th for the 2 December 2005 Old Georgetown Board meeting.

The change in date was approved.

Confirmation of the approval of the December 2004 Old Georgetown and Shipstead-Luce Act Appendices (I & II).

The appendices were approved without objection.

Confirmation of the recommendations on the items circulated in December 2004 including: the designs for the Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals; and revised design for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing guard booth on 14th Street, SW.

Mr. Lindstrom reported that the members had approved the campaign medals with some suggestions for changes. He said the Institute of Heraldry had agreed to the removal of the name “Kabul” from the Afghanistan medal, although not to the other, more minor, recommendations.

Reports on the member's site inspections to the Department of State's headquarters building and the Naval Observatory.

Mr. Lindstrom reported that the members had been invited to tour the diplomatic reception rooms, and that they had also inspected the lobbies of the 1958 building, which would be renovated when the work was carried out for the security upgrades. The Chairman expressed the Commission’s thanks to the State Department for the tour and said he thought the plans for upgrading the security were good ones, noting that they would also preserve open space and include the lobby restoration and the renovation and restoration of the entire older building (1941). Ms. Diamonstein commented favorably on the transparency that would be achieved with the new security pavilions and on the removal of the existing marquises; she also commented unfavorably on the presence of plastic plants in the lobbies. Mrs. Nelson recalled the uncertainty expressed at the November meeting regarding a new location for the statue of Bernardo de Galvez and thought the Commission should follow up on that.

Turning to the Naval Observatory, Mr. Lindstrom said the members had gone there to inspect the proposed site for the Master Clock and to look at the buildings proposed for demolition. They felt strongly that the larger ones (Nos. 6 & 7), designed by Richard Morris Hunt in 1886-87 to house the observatory telescopes, should be retained and used for some purpose. Several smaller buildings, formerly associated with the labs but in very poor condition, could be demolished, leaving their foundations as an aid in interpreting how the telescopes functioned. Comment was made about a rule to preserve open space which said that if new buildings were erected, an equal amount of square footage in the form of old construction had to be demolished, but it was thought that this would not apply in the case of these small historic structures. There were no objections to the proposed location of the new building to house the Master Clock.

Introduction of a new staff member, Delores B. Davis, Administrative Support Assistant.

Mr. Lindstrom said Ms. Davis could not be present at the meeting because of a death in her family, but would be introduced in February.

Submissions and Reviews

Department of the Treasury / U.S. Mint

CFA 25/JAN/05-1, Fifty States circulating / commemorative quarter program for 2006. Designs for the Nebraska, Nevada and North Dakota state quarters. (Previous: CFA 21/SEP/04-3, South Dakota).

Staff member Sue Kohler commented that the members had not yet seen these designs, as they were not ready when their pre-meeting packages were sent out. She introduced Barbara Bradford and Stacie Anderson from the Mint, and asked Ms. Anderson to make the presentation.

Ms. Anderson had placed the designs for each state on large boards. Beginning with North Dakota, she showed three designs: a scene in the badlands showing two buffaloes; another showing two geese (the state bird) flying over a similar topography; and a farm area with typical farm buildings, seen from the air. The members at first seemed to favor the bird design, but then switched to the buffaloes; they did not think the farm scene would be effective at coin size. Their recommendations were that the two buffaloes be separated in some way, possibly by a change in position, so that when reduced to coin size, it would be clear that there were two animals. It was also requested that the sun be omitted, and that the topographical features of the badlands receive more emphasis.

There were five designs for the Nevada coin. Three used the motto, "The Silver State". One showed crossed picks and a star, the second showed three horses in a landscape, and the third a miner with a pick and shovel. A fourth design emphasized Nevada’s Indian heritage, and the fifth featured the head and shoulders of a big horn sheep. This was the one that received unanimous approval, with the recommendation that the sheep be slightly smaller so that the Sierra Nevada mountain range at the bottom of the coin could be made larger, and that the motto, "All for Our Country" be removed.

The four Nebraska designs included a depiction of Bertram Goodhue's State Capitol, Chimney Rock, Chief Standing Bear with the inscription "Equality Before the Law", and the sculpture called "The Sower" with the inscription "Home of Arbor Day". The choice was for the State Capitol because of its architectural significance, although the Chief Standing Bear design was also considered a good one.

Smithsonian Institution

CFA 25/JAN/05-2, National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum (Old Patent Office Building). 7th and F streets, NW. Courtyard enclosure. Final. (Previous: CFA 17/JUN/04-1).

Ms. Penhoet introduced the next two projects for the Old Patent Office Building. John Drew, of Foster and Partners, presented the final submission for the courtyard enclosure proposed for the Old Patent Office Building. The Commission had approved the concept for the enclosure in June 2004 with a recommendation that further study be done both in the design of the interior columns in the courtyard and in the detailing of the transition between the enclosure and existing building. Additionally, the Smithsonian and their design team had been addressing concerns raised by the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and others involved in a National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Environmental Assessment review. Mr. Drew showed a digital slide show and highlighted the changes in the design since June 2004.

At the request of NCPC, the roof structure would be lowered to reduce its appearance from distant vistas. In addition to the reduction in height, the roof would also cantilever further over the existing building; this would reduce the build-up of snow on both the new enclosure and the existing roof. Although the roof would be lowered, there would still be ample ventilation. To avoid impacting the historic building's walls for purposes of load-bearing, the columns in the courtyard would play a greater role in supporting the roof. The columns, larger in diameter than those presented in June, would not only provide support, but also address the Commission's aesthetic concerns that the columns would be too narrow. The cooling tower on the roof would also change, from an amorphous form to a rectangular unit.

The materials proposed for the roof had changed little since the concept. The glass panels would be treated to filter direct sun and control heat gain without additional sun-shading devices. Material samples of the glass and courtyard pavers were presented. The courtyard pavers would be two shades of brown-toned granite, set in a diagonal grid, corresponding to the roof domes above. The structural columns, as well as the HVAC pylons and service wall facility, would be finished in various shades of bronze colored metal cladding to complement the bronze door frames of the building. Material samples for these structures were presented also.

The Commission members felt that the architects had responded to their earlier recommendations and were pleased with the overall design development. They asked that the glazing be further studied, with the object of using the clearest glass possible that would also control solar heat gain and light levels. Additionally, they asked that the service facility at the west end of the courtyard be designed to store video and sound equipment as well as utilities and support equipment for catering events. A site inspection of the building prior to the next submission was also requested.

CFA 25/JAN/05-3, National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum (Old Patent Office Building). 7th and F streets, NW. South stair reconstruction. Concept.

Mary Kay Lanzillotta, of Hartman-Cox Architects presented a proposal to reconstruct the stairs of the F Street side of the Old Patent Office Building. As part of a National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Environmental Assessment review of the Old Patent Office Building, it was recommended that the south stair be restored to an earlier historic context as mitigation for the proposed courtyard enclosure. To that end, Ms. Lanzillotta presented a digital slide show of a proposal to the restore the stair to its 1873-1874 configuration.

The Patent Office Building was constructed between 1836 and 1867. The original stair configuration at the south entrance was a straight run from the portico to the street. When the streets around the building were lowered some 12 feet in 1873, the stair configuration was changed with the addition of a cheek wall flanked by a pair of shorter stairs. These stairs each went to small landings that led to another set of flanking stairs that in turn led to a wider landing behind the cheek wall. Another set of stairs connected this landing to the portico. The south entrance was relocated to the rusticated basement level underneath the portico when F Street was widened in 1936. By 1964, there were five doorways cut into the facade under the portico, accessed by a short flight of stairs.

The proposed scheme would recreate the post 1874 configuration with alterations to fulfill current program requirements. The stairs would run from the portico level to a landing that would run the length of the rusticated base. A set of stairs on each end of the landing would lead to two smaller landings at which point each set of stairs would turn 90 degrees and descend to the street level. The street-level entrance, with its three doorways cut into the rusticated base, would be flanked by two sets of stairs, in much the same way the earlier cheek wall was flanked. The public would be required to enter the building at street-level, rather than through the portico. The concept behind this proposed scheme was to connect the building to the street, while fulfilling the mitigation recommended by the D.C. State Historic Preservation Office.

The Commission members unanimously agreed that as a mitigation for the proposed courtyard enclosure, the proposed south stair scheme was both inappropriate and unnecessary. Since the building's primary period of architectural significance was 1836, a recreation of an 1874 alteration would be unwarranted. Additionally, the changes proposed to the 1874 alteration, specifically the street-level entrances where there had been a solid cheek wall, would do little to improve upon that earlier era's alteration. With no provision to reopen the building's historic entrance at the portico level, the members felt that there was little to be gained by constructing a stairway there. The proposed scheme would necessitate widening the sidewalk and eliminating a traffic lane from F Street. The members agreed that a historically irrelevant scheme was not worth a disruption to the city's historic street grid, and the better course would be to leave the south entrance as it was and seek out other options for sound preservation to fulfill the mitigation recommendation.

National Park Service

CFA 25/JAN/05-4, Georgetown Waterfront Park, bounded by the Potomac River and Water Street, from the Francis Scott Key Bridge to the terminus of 31st Street. Revised concept for overlook structures, Nos. 1, 2 & 3. (Previous: CFA 21/SEP/04-1).

This presentation was postponed.

Department of Defense / Department of the Army

CFA 25/JAN/05-5, Fort McNair. National Defense University, New building: Lincoln Hall. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 18/NOV/04-3).

Ms. Penhoet introduced Rod Garrett from SOM to present revised designs for this project. Mr. Garrett first reviewed the design as it had been when presented at the November meeting and then recalled the Commission's comments. In regard to the facade facing the parade ground, the comment had been made that it should face that open space "in a bold way"; that it should not be broken up as shown, especially since there was no functional reason for the breaks. He said they had tried a long, unrelieved facade, and showed a photograph of a model, but decided that it was not successful, that it needed to relate not only to the parade ground and Marshall and Eisenhower halls, but to the smaller officers' quarters and new physical fitness center to the north. He showed another model photo, as well as drawings, which showed their preferred solution: a facade broken into three equal parts by shallow breaks while still retaining at the pedestrian level the impression of a long, bold facade.

Mr. Garrett then addressed the Commission's second concern: the lack of access to the courtyard from the second and third floor rooms. He said this was not possible for reasons of security and HVAC requirements, and he commented that the purpose of the courtyard was to provide natural light to these rooms and provide a visual connection to the courtyard. Direct connection would be available through the ground floor cafeteria seating areas.

Two other revisions were then discussed. The first concerned the height of the exterior circular entrance element, which had been uncertain when the project was presented in November. After some experimentation, it had been decided that it needed to be raised slightly rather than lowered. The second modification was to the connector between the new building and Marshall Hall. He showed two versions: one was a delicate all-glass connector; the second retained that type of connector but added a free-standing garden screen wall, consisting only of an open stone framework, on the parade ground side . Mr. Garrett said they preferred this version as it would continue the stone trim seen on both Marshall Hall and the new building.

The members agreed with Mr. Garrett's assessment of the west facade design and reacted favorably to the new, slightly revised design. As to the two connector designs, they agreed that the connector would benefit from the feeling of strength and continuity provided by the screen wall. There were no objections to the increase in height of the circular entrance element. Mrs. Nelson then moved that the revised concept design be approved; her motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

CFA 25/JAN/05-6, Pentagon, Boundary Channel Drive, Arlington, Virginia. River Terrace and Corridor 8 Pedestrian Bridge. Entrance pavilion for new library and conference center. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 18/NOV/04-7).

Susan Kasun from the Pentagon introduced architect Robert Osborne to show the changes that had been made. In response to the Commission's requests, the security element adjoining the entrance pavilion had been lowered, and the centrality of the pavilion had been de-emphasized so that the security element did not look so much like an add-on. The fence had been made higher–6 feet—and more decorative in design. The changes were considered an improvement and the project was given final approval.

General Services Administration

CFA 25/JAN/05-7, GSA First Impressions Sign Program, Master Plan for federal buildings in the National Capital Region. Concept/ Final.

Ms. Penhoet introduced Jeff Barber from Gensler, who commented on the program and Gensler's involvement in it, and then introduced graphic designer Maurice Reid to make the presentation. Mr. Reid first showed a map, pointing out the extent of the program, and then showed photographs of existing signs, commenting on the wide variety of styles and the inconsistency of quality and execution. The Chairman noted that the brown "ribbon" signs, the product of a previous sign program, looked dated.

The sign program as proposed had been organized by "batches", based on the architectural style of groups of buildings, for example the Federal Triangle, or use, such as courthouses. All the signs were basically the same–vertical two-panel signs with the back panel being a Federal Blue and the shorter overlapping front panel painted in a metal color, aluminum or bronze depending on the location. The signs would be 10 feet high and 30 inches wide. Mr. Reid showed a wide variety of ways to present the required information on the metallic panels–in some examples the address was given priority in terms of letter size and location on the sign; in other versions it was the name of the tenant. Some examples were devoid of any decoration, others had applied geometric strips or elements of the Great Seal incised lightly behind the lettering. One group used the word "welcome" above the street address. Some used narrow vertical strips of color between the metallic panel and the background blue panel.

There was a discussion among the members and with the Gensler representatives. The Chairman summarized the Commission's recommendations as follows: Simplicity was of the utmost importance; the double panel idea was too complex and could become dated, although Ms. Diamonstein thought a narrow strip of blue at the edge of the single panel might be tried. The panel should be actual metal, not painted with metallic paint. Extraneous words like "welcome" should not be used, and the largest letters and most conspicuous placement should be awarded to the address, not the name of the agency. The batch idea was probably not necessary as the buildings could be grouped simply by the color of the metal to be used. The sans serif typeface was approved, with the comment that a serif face would likely be harder to read. There was no great enthusiasm for the use of the Great Seal, but if used, it should be the entire seal, placed within a circle somewhere near the center of the sign, and not layered behind the text.

Mr. Childs told the Gensler representatives that the Commission was highly in favor of a new sign system for federal buildings. Mr. Reid had mentioned a pilot program for the Environmental Protection Agency, which the Commission thought was a good idea. He was told that the Commission would want to see a full-size mockup of a sign, following the above recommendations, when it was ready.

CFA 25/JAN/05-8, GSA Headquarters Building. 1800 F Street, NW. Courtyard additions and modifications. Concept.

This presentation was postponed.

CFA 25/JAN/05-9, Mary E. Switzer Building. 330 C Street, SW. Alterations and additions for modernization. Final. (Previous: CFA 18/DEC/03-3).

Mr. Lindstrom said there had been very little change since the last submission, and introduced Michael McGill from GSA to make the presentation.

Mr. McGill reviewed the plans, which included converting the existing two-story mechanical space at the top of the building into sixth and seventh floor rentable office space. Two new penthouses and a chiller would be built above the seventh floor and the new rentable space would be lit with skylights and new windows on both the sixth and seventh floors. The existing building mass would not be altered. He described the precast ribs of the skylights, which would tie in with the stonework on the building. He also described the streetscape improvements, which would consist of new paving and street lights. Mr. McGill noted that this would be a Silver Rated LEED project, which had determined many of the design decisions, especially those related to historic preservation, water and energy conservation, the use of sustainable materials, and on two of the wings, the installation of vegetative roofs. The Chairman questioned the addition of new windows on the sixth and seventh floor, but was told that the Historic Preservation Review Board had been consulted and had no objection. The Vice-Chairman moved that the project receive final approval; Mrs. Nelson seconded the motion, and it was carried unanimously.

CFA 25/JAN/05-10, E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse, Constitution Avenue and 3rd Street, NW. Perimeter security barriers. Revised design/Final. (Previous: CFA 15/JUL/04-2).

Mr. Lindstrom said this submission concerned a revision to the design for security elements at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 3rd Street, near the rotunda. He said NCPC had some concerns with the previous design–they wanted the number of bollards reduced and had already approved the revisions which would now be presented to the Commission. He asked Robert Anderson from the SmithGroup to make the presentation.

Mr. Smith showed drawings, noting that the security elements now related to the curve of the rotunda. New planter elements, closer in style to the architecture of the building, had been designed to be combined with the bollards along Constitution Avenue.

The Chairman thought the new solution related better to the rotunda than the reverse curve seen in the previous design; Ms. Diamonstein agreed. The planter design was also approved, and the entire revised design was then given final approval.

District of Columbia Department of Mental Health

CFA 25/JAN/05-11, St. Elizabeths Hospital. 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE. New hospital building. Final. (Previous: CFA 15/JAN/04-11 ).

Mr. Martínez recalled that the building had been approved in January 2004, and the design had not changed except for the addition of more landscaping at the entry and in the parking area. He noted the curvilinear design of the parking area, which had not changed. The final design was then unanimously approved.

District of Columbia Area Water and Sewer Authority

CFA 25/JAN/05-12, Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, 5000 Overlook Avenue, SW. New Egg-shaped Digester Facility. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 18 /NOV/04-8).

Mr. Lindstrom introduced architect Brad Witcomb from Sorg & Associates to discuss the revisions that had been made in answer to the Commission's recommendations. He showed drawings of the digesters, noting that the pattern that had been objected to had been removed, except for a raised line of metal near the top. The finishes had been reduced to two, with the darker one at the bottom. The decorative Victorian circular trusses on the bridges, which had seemed incongruous with the industrial Art Deco style of most of the buildings at the water treatment plant, had been replaced with a truss of a more sympathetic design, which was curved in both section and plan. The bridges would be painted grey. As recommended, the elevator towers were now clad in metal panels, rather than in brick as before, with glass panels used for the elevator area. There were questions about the interior of the eggs and how they worked, which were answered by engineer Paul Schlegel. A discussion of the curved lower part of the truss followed, with the comment that it seemed redundant. Mr. Witcomb admitted that it was not structurally necessary, but seemed visually necessary to tie the eggs together. Cynthia Giordano, from the law firm of Arnold & Porter, asked to comment at this point, saying that she wanted to take this element to the Zoning Commission. There was no further discussion; the elevator towers were approved, with the bridge design held in abeyance.

District of Columbia Office of Property Management

CFA 25/JAN/05-13, District of Columbia Anacostia Gateway Government Center, Anacostia side of the 11th Street bridge at Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Good Hope Road, SE. Two new office buildings for the D.C. Department of Transportation headquarters. Concept.

Joseph Wolfe from the D.C. Office of Property Management began the presentation by describing this project as part of the revitalization of Anacostia, and then introduced Stephen Alicandro from the architectural firm of Heery International, Inc.

Mr. Alicandro described the project, using drawings and a model. He said there would be two buildings, the larger six-story structure having a curved plaza entry from Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, and the smaller, three-story wing placed back from the avenue with an entrance on Good Hope Road; the two buildings would wrap around the three-story Anacostia Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) building with alleys separating them. The larger building would have a central atrium beginning at the second floor and rising five stories to the mechanical penthouse roof. Mr. Alicandro said the atrium would provide light to interior offices, and the light from it at night would act as a lantern, visible from across the bridge and other parts of the city. He noted also the setbacks, beginning above the third floor, and the lower scale of all the elements as they faced the residential area along 13th Street and the river front. Maximum height would be 80 feet. Materials would be a combination of beige brick, limestone precast, metal panels, and glass curtainwall construction. Two levels of underground parking would be provided.

The Chairman asked why the front entrance was not placed in the center of the curved plaza area of the main building. Mr. Alicandro said they had wanted to depart from the idea of a static, symmetrical entrance, and there were also some grade changes involved. He added that they also wanted the entrance to relate to the proposed new traffic circle where Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue ended at the 11th St. bridge. Mr. Rybczynski said he was not so opposed to the off-center entrance once he had seen it on the model. Another concern was the cutting off of the corner of the curved entrance on the side where it met the intersection of the alley with Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. Mr Alicandro said this had been done so as to open up views through the site to the AEDC and Good Hope Road buildings. The feeling was that the loss to the integrity of the curved entrance element was far greater than any gain achieved. A last comment concerned the atrium, and the wish that it could be entered from the first floor rather than the second, creating a much more exciting entrance experience. It was observed that if the entrance were centered, it might be possible to reconfigure the plan so that the building would be entered with a direct view into the atrium.

Mr. Alicandro was asked to study these items of concern and submit a revised concept when ready.

District of Columbia Department of Transportation

CFA 25/JAN/05-14, Anacostia Waterfront Transportation Architecture Design Standards. Design guidelines for projects in the public right-of-way, Draft standards. Concept.

John Deatrick from DDOT introduced Kathleen Penney and Howard Decker to make this presentation, and asked Ms. Penney to begin. She said the department was looking for comments on this draft proposal, adding that there was some urgency because of the number of ongoing projects. The guidelines would involve the tie-in of major thoroughfares with neighborhoods and the various styles of streetscape elements within them.

Mr. Decker continued, saying first that the guidelines could be applied to areas other than Anacostia. He noted also that special areas would have to be fitted into the overall plan, and there were some streets that traversed both the monumental core (traditional) and new neighborhoods that basically would be built from the ground up and might look better with a contemporary streetscape. How should such a street be treated? In the traditional way because of the connection with the monumental core through vistas, or broken up into different streetscapes depending on which kind of neighborhood it was going through? He showed drawings of both traditional and contemporary baseline streetscapes, illustrating proposals for such items as street lights, benches, trash receptacles, etc. Then there was the question of how to treat special areas within Anacostia–or any other area. Such areas would include symbolic corridors, parkways, special segments, designated traffic corridors, waterfront access areas, and river crossings. And which area should be approached first? Mr. Decker thought starting with the clearly defined historic areas might be best, and the Commission agreed. The Commission also agreed with him that monumental streets should be treated the same throughout their length to define their importance in the city as a whole. Mr. Decker brought up the possibility of using different color paving materials on the streets to indicate special use–bicycles, buses, etc. While this could be considered, it was thought that it would have to be looked at carefully. Incorporating contemporary design in new neighborhoods was seen as a desirable goal, and the incorporation of low impact design principles in all new development was encouraged. Ms. Penney and Mr. Decker were then commended for their thorough initial investigation of the many aspects of such a complex project, and told that the Commission looked forward to reviewing further developments in the near future.

CFA 25/JAN/05-15, Metropolitan Branch Trail. Pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the CSX/MARC rail tracks at the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station, NE. Concept.

This bridge would cross the CSX/MARC tracks between the Rhode Island Avenue underpass and the Franklin Street Bridge, and would eliminate the dangerous pedestrian habit of crossing these tracks at grade level. It could be accessed by stairs or a ramp, and it would be a diagonal crossing, linking the trail and commuter lot to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station. The reason for making it cross diagonally was that a right angle crossing would bring it into the roof of the Rhode Island Avenue underpass, which would cause structural problems. Mr. Chris Hoben said DDOT wanted the Commission's reaction to three designs for the bridge. He showed drawings of three possibilities: a truss bridge, an arched bridge, and a cable-stayed bridge.

The Chairman thought either the truss or arched versions could be quite beautiful, but the cable-stayed design was a bit too much for this situation. Mr. Rybczynski agreed, observing that this was an industrial setting, and not too much attention should be called to the design. That was the feeling of the Commission, and that was the recommendation given to Mr. Hoben.

CFA 25/JAN/05-16, Kenilworth Avenue, NE, from Foote Street to Lane Place and bridges over Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue and Watts Branch. Artwork on sound barrier walls. Final. (Previous: CFA 20/MAY/04-14, art installation on bridge wing walls).

John Deatrick from DDOT was introduced to begin the presentation. He said the sound barrier walls had not been part of the original plan, and in his opinion were still not needed. He thought that with the right kind of paving and proper landscaping, the noise problem could be taken care of. However, when a median strip was added to the road, pushing the traffic lanes closer to the nearby houses, the neighbors requested the barrier walls. He said he would still prefer to try out his solution first.

Ms. Zahra Dorriz from DDOT, continued the presentation. She showed the proposed art for the walls, which consisted of paintings of plants and animals that could be seen in the nearby Kenilworth Gardens. She said the walls would be 20 feet high, and the artwork would be placed on every other panel.

The Chairman said he supported Mr. Deatrick, but if the walls had to be built, he would prefer to have them smooth or textured, but without artwork. The other members agreed with him, with Ms. Nelson adding that they should have some kind of surface treatment that would keep them from becoming covered with graffitti; she thought they were a potential eyesore. The Vice-Chairman then made a motion that the project be disapproved; it was seconded by Ms. Diamonstein and passed unanimously.

District of Columbia Office on Aging

CFA 25/JAN/05-17, Ward One Senior Wellness Center, Corner of Georgia Avenue and Newton Street, NW. New building retaining the existing facades of four row houses. Concept.

Mr. Lindstrom introduced Louis Fry III, of Lance Bailey & Associates to present the proposal for a new building to house the Ward One Senior Wellness Center. Facades of four two-story brick row houses currently on the site, one on Georgia Avenue and one on Newton Street, would be retained and integrated into a new three-story building. The brick facades would be cut away at the corner and a three-story octagonal tower element would connect them and serve as the entrance. The material for the tower would be precast stone and glass to highlight its two-story foyer. The cornice of the tower would stand significantly higher than the rest of the building. The third story facades would also be made of precast stone and their window treatment would be similar to the windows on the existing brick facades.

The members had several concerns with this proposal. The tower was thought to be too intrusive and it was suggested that the existing corner of the row houses be retained and the entrance be located at the arched doorways of the first two houses. This arrangement would allow for a better reallocation of floor space and for a more generous third story setback. Additionally, the members felt that the third story should be clad in brick rather than precast stone and the overall height be minimized as much as possible.

The members requested that the next submission of this project be a revised concept.

District of Columbia Public Schools

CFA 25/JAN/05-18, Cardozo High School, 1300 Clifton Street, NW. Building modernization and addition. Concept.

Mr. Martinez introduced Cal Bowie, of Bowie-Gridley Architects, to present the concept proposal for the modernization of and addition to Cardozo High School. The proposed modernization of Cardozo High School would largely consist of interior work, as well as changes to the landscaping, parking lots and other site amenities. A major component of the project would be the addition of a gymnasium on the building's east side. The concept was to increase the school's capacity of 800 students to 1,155 while retaining the historic character of the building.

The gymnasium addition would include a dedicated student entrance on the north side that would link to the existing building. There would be garage entrances on the south side. The north and south elevations would be primarily windowless, except for the clerestory windows below the angled roof. The east elevation would have more transparency and no clerestories. A courtyard space would stand between the addition and the existing building.

The members were pleased with the proposal and had one suggestion regarding the gymnasium roof. The roof should have a more traditional, less curved form in order to be more in keeping with the historic character of the school. The clerestory windows should remain. The design was approved in concept, with a request that material samples be included in the next submission.

District of Columbia Public Library

CFA 25/JAN/05-19, Tenley-Friendship Branch Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue at Albemarle Street, NW. New replacement building. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 18/NOV/04-16).

Ms. Penhoet introduced Melanie Hennigan, of Grimm-Parker Architects, to present the next four proposals for the D.C. Public Libraries. The Tenley-Friendship Branch Library returned as a revised concept and Ms. Hennigan highlighted changes made since its last review in November 2004. The transparent corners of the building would remain, but they would be more T-shaped as opposed to diagonal. The windows would be smaller and more numerous. They would follow a geometric pattern of rows and columns. The foyer would still be transparent from roof to grade with an arced awning. The roof would have a flat surface, as opposed to the diagonal one proposed previously.

The Commission members felt that the architects had addressed their earlier comments about simplifying the design and approved the proposal.

CFA 25/JAN/05-20, Anacostia Branch Library, 1800 Good Hope Road at 18th Street, SE. New replacement building. Final. (Previous: CFA 18/NOV/04-14).

Changes made to the design of the Anacostia Branch Library were minimal and the members agreed that the revised design responded to previous comments and was improved within the limitations of the site. The revised concept was approved.

CFA 25/JAN/05-21, Benning Branch Library, 3935 Benning Road near Minnesota Avenue, NE. New replacement building. Final. (Previous: CFA 18/NOV/04- 15).

Changes made to the design of the Benning Branch Library were minimal and the members agreed that the revised design was an improvement and that it responded to previous comments. The revised concept was approved.

CFA 25/JAN/05-22, Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Branch Library, 1701 8th Street at Rhode Island Avenue, NW. New replacement building. Concept.

The Watha T. Daniels/Shaw Branch Library would be replaced with an entirely new building. The proposed building would be triangular in shape, like the existing building. It would have a two-story transparent foyer at the 7th Street entrance and a flat canopy. The entrance elevation would be the narrowest part of the building. The Rhode Island Avenue elevation would be heavily transparent with evergreen glass and rows of small windows. These two elevations would feature a slanted, overhanging roof supported with metal beams. The 8th and R Street elevations would be detailed predominantly with rows of small windows. The masonry would be red brick. Unlike the existing building, the replacement building would be fully accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The proposal was approved in concept and the next submission could be final.

Washington Convention Center Authority

CFA 25/JAN/05-23, Interim parking lot and landscaping on the former convention center site, bounded by 9th, H, 11th streets and New York Avenue, NW. Concept.

Ms. Penhoet introduced Elliot Rhodeside, of Rhodeside-Harwell, to present the concept for the former convention center site. With an anticipated three to five year gap between the implosion of the D.C. Convention Center and redevelopment of its 10.2 acre site, the Washington Convention Center Authority, on behalf of District government, proposed an interim plan for the site that would include parking, a venue for special events and a public art space. There would be surface parking for 1,000 cars, including allocated space for 30 buses in the southeast section. The cars would be buffered from public view by amenities located along the perimeter of the site. These amenities would include vending and eating areas, bus shelters, art spaces and landscaping. Additionally, the site was envisioned as a venue for events such as markets, displays, festivals and other cultural activities. An art corridor would be located along 10th Street, between H Street and New York Avenue. 10th Street would become a pedestrian-only thoroughfare for the installation of public art. The opening of 10th Street would create an axial relationship with the central dome of the National Museum of Natural History. Its entrances would be marked with recycled glass columns and painted surfaces would indicate pedestrian paths.

I Street would also be opened, as the main access point for vehicles. A secondary vehicular entrance would be located on 11th Street, just north of H Street; this entrance would only be used for special events. Other site highlights would include water tolerant plants and a rain garden along H Street, Willow Oak and Virginia Red Cedar trees along New York Avenue and a variety of deciduous and evergreen vines supported by painted steel-grid fencing. A series of nooks for pedestrians and vendors would be located along the length of the rain garden. In addition to the two 10th Street pedestrian entrances there would also be pedestrian entrances along H Street and New York Avenue at 9th and 11th Streets. Lighting would be located along the perimeter of the site and within the 10th Street corridor.

The proposal was received favorably by the Commission. The members suggested that there be more emphasis on art banners; perhaps a rotating exhibit of banners created through some sort of public art program. The proposal was approved and a request for a site visit to review mock-ups of proposed color schemes was made.

District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

Old Georgetown Act

Appendix I.

Item O.G. 04-288, 1417 28th Street NW, was removed from the appendix and discussed at the meeting. For a record of this discussion, see the meeting transcript, pp. 419-424. The remainder of the Old Georgetown Appendix was approved.

Shipstead-Luce Act

S.L. 05-024, 1777 F Street, NW. Replacement building and restoration of historic facades. Concept.

Ms. Penhoet introduced architect Graham Davidson from Hartman-Cox to present a new restoration and new construction project for this historic 19th century site; a site which had undergone a similar treatment in the early 1980s.

Mr. Davidson showed photographs and drawings of the old corner structure, at 18th and F streets, built in the 1870s. It would be restored as closely as possible to its original appearance, with such changes as new mansard roof details, returning a functional door to the main floor with a stair to the sidewalk, revising the window proportions, including the ground floor windows and the bay windows, and installing new and historically accurate hood-moulds over the windows. The new nine-story office building would rise behind the historic building on 18th Street and front on F Street. The two easterly bays of the old structure, having been totally reconstructed when the 1980s project was built, would be demolished. Mr. Davidson showed drawings and simulated photographs of the new building, which would be all glass with a delicate metal latticework in front of it.

Architectural historian Anne Adams, from the law firm of Shaw Pittman, said they had worked with the CFA and HPRB (Historic Preservation Review Board) on details of the design. She said the two easterly bays of the old structure, having been totally reconstructed when the 1980s project was built, would be demolished. There were no objections to the concept design, and a motion to approve it was made by Ms. Diamonstein, seconded by the Vice-Chairman, and carried unanimously.

Appendix II.

The Shipstead-Luce appendix was approved.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 5:45 p.m.

Signed,

Frederick J. Lindstrom
Acting Secretary

Addendum

Meeting of the Commission of Fine Arts

25 January 2005 (Tuesday)

The agenda items were discussed in the following order:

Administration

Approval of minutes: 18 November 2004

Dates of next meetings: 17 February 2005
17 March 2005
21 April 2005

Change in date for the submission deadline in November 2005 from the 10th to 9th for the 2 December 2005 Old Georgetown Board meeting.

Confirmation of the approval of the December 2004 Old Georgetown and Shipstead-Luce Act Appendices (I & II).

Confirmation of the recommendations on the items circulated in December 2004 including: the designs for the Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals; and revised design for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing guard booth on 14th Street, SW.

Reports on the member's site inspections to the Department of State's headquarters building and the Naval Observatory.

Introduction of a new staff member, Delores B. Davis, Administrative Support Assistant.

Submissions and Reviews

Department of the Treasury / U.S. Mint

CFA 25/JAN/05-1, Fifty States circulating / commemorative quarter program for 2006. Designs for the Nebraska, Nevada and North Dakota state quarters. (Previous: CFA 21/SEP/04-3, South Dakota).

Department of Defense / Department of the Army

CFA 25/JAN/05-6, Pentagon, Boundary Channel Drive, Arlington, Virginia. River Terrace and Corridor 8 Pedestrian Bridge. Entrance pavilion for new library and conference center. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 18/NOV/04-7).

General Services Administration

CFA 25/JAN/05-7, GSA First Impressions Sign Program, Master Plan for federal buildings in the National Capital Region. Concept/ Final.

CFA 25/JAN/05-10, E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse, Constitution Avenue and 3rd Street, NW. Perimeter security barriers. Revised design/Final. (Previous: CFA 15/JUL/04-2).

District of Columbia Department of Mental Health

CFA 25/JAN/05-11, St. Elizabeths Hospital. 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE. New hospital building. Final. (Previous: CFA 15/JAN/04-11 ).

District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

Shipstead-Luce Act

Appendix II.

Old Georgetown Act

Appendix I.

District of Columbia Department of Transportation

CFA 25/JAN/05-16, Kenilworth Avenue, NE, from Foote Street to Lane Place and bridges over Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue and Watts Branch. Artwork on sound barrier walls. Final. (Previous: CFA 20/MAY/04-14, art installation on bridge wing walls).

CFA 25/JAN/05-15, Metropolitan Branch Trail. Pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the CSX/MARC rail tracks at the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station, NE. Concept.

Smithsonian Institution

CFA 25/JAN/05-2, National Portrait Gallery and National Museum of American Art (Old Patent Office Building). 7th and F streets, NW. Courtyard enclosure. Final. (Previous: CFA 17/JUN/04-1).

CFA 25/JAN/05-3, National Portrait Gallery and National Museum of American Art (Old Patent Office Building). 7th and F streets, NW. South stair reconstruction. Concept.

Department of Defense / Department of the Army

CFA 25/JAN/05-5, Fort McNair. National Defense University, New building: Lincoln Hall. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 18/NOV/04-3).

District of Columbia Area Water and Sewer Authority

CFA 25/JAN/05-12, Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, 5000 Overlook Avenue, SW. New Egg-shaped Digester Facility. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 18 /NOV/04-8).

General Services Administration

CFA 25/JAN/05-9, Mary E. Switzer Building. 330 C Street, SW. Alterations and additions for modernization. Final. (Previous: CFA 18/DEC/03-3).

District of Columbia Office of Property Management

CFA 25/JAN/05-13, District of Columbia Anacostia Gateway Government Center, Anacostia side of the 11th Street bridge at Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Good Hope Road, SE. Two new office buildings for the D.C. Department of Transportation headquarters. Concept.

District of Columbia Department of Transportation

CFA 25/JAN/05-14, Anacostia Waterfront Transportation Architecture Design Standards. Design guidelines for projects in the public right-of-way, Draft standards. Concept.

District of Columbia Office on Aging

CFA 25/JAN/05-17, Ward One Senior Wellness Center, Corner of Georgia Avenue and Newton Street, NW. New building retaining the existing facades of four row houses. Concept.

District of Columbia Public Schools

CFA 25/JAN/05-18, Cardozo High School, 1300 Clifton Street, NW. Building modernization and addition. Concept.

District of Columbia Public Library

CFA 25/JAN/05-19, Tenley-Friendship Branch Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue at Albemarle Street, NW. New replacement building. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 18/NOV/04-16).

CFA 25/JAN/05-20, Anacostia Branch Library, 1800 Good Hope Road at 18th Street, SE. New replacement building. Final. (Previous: CFA 18/NOV/04-14).

CFA 25/JAN/05-21, Benning Branch Library, 3935 Benning Road near Minnesota Avenue, NE. New replacement building. Final. (Previous: CFA 18/NOV/04-15).

CFA 25/JAN/05-22, Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Branch Library, 1701 8th Street at Rhode Island Avenue, NW. New replacement building. Concept.

Washington Convention Center Authority

CFA 25/JAN/05-23, Interim parking lot and landscaping on the former convention center site, bounded by 9th, H, 11th streets and New York Avenue, NW. Concept.

District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

Old Georgetown Act

Appendix I. con't 1417 28th Street NW

Shipstead-Luce Act

S.L. 05-024, 1777 F Street, NW. Replacement building and restoration of historic facades. Concept.

The following items were postponed:

National Park Service

CFA 25/JAN/05-4, Georgetown Waterfront Park, bounded by the Potomac River and Water Street, from the Francis Scott Key Bridge to the terminus of 31st Street. Revised concept for overlook structures, Nos. 1, 2 & 3. (Previous: CFA 21/SEP/04-1).

General Services Administration

CFA 25/JAN/05-8, GSA Headquarters Building. 1800 F Street, NW. Courtyard additions and modifications. Concept.

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Last Modified: February 25, 2005