24 April 2014
Dear Mr. Hanlon:In its meeting of 17 April, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed and approved the concept design for the Chuck Brown Memorial Park at 20th and Franklin Streets, NE, and provided the following comments.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the cooperation between the D.C. Department of General Services and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities to incorporate the sculpture within the previously reviewed park design. They commended the architect and landscape architect for their refinement of the project, commenting that it has been substantially improved as a network of interconnected, fluid spaces that convey an affinity with Chuck Brown's music. They admired the vibrancy of the sculpture, which they suggested could be more broadly applied to the design of the wider memorial park.To encourage public use of this landscape, they recommended adding a curving concrete bench facing the central circular plaza and suggested replacing the proposed artificial turf in the central lawn with natural grass. Noting that the park will likely have its heaviest use in the summer, the Commission members suggested selecting a tree species that will provide a strong visual effect at this time of year instead of the spring– blooming Japanese cherry. To increase durability, they also recommended the use of engraved or raised letters on all panels and black–and–white or sepia images for the photographic panels to avoid fading. To improve the focus of the project as a whole, they advised eliminating the canopy above the sculpture and removing the two signs illustrating musical chords.
The Commission looks forward to review of the final design. As always, the staff is available to assist you with your next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Brian Hanlon, Director
cc: Lionell Thomas, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Last Modified: April 25, 2014