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27 May 2014

Dear Mr. Wilburn:

In its meeting of 15 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for the People's Garden site improvements and perimeter security at the headquarters complex of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), located at 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW. The Commission approved the concept, expressing appreciation for the thoroughness of the presentation and for the improvements made to the design in response to the previous comments.

The Commission members commended the project team for its analysis of the Olmsted Brothers designs for this site and of the USDA's historic contribution to the use of The Mall as a public demonstration garden. They commented that these analyseshave strengthened the proposal, which could serve as a model for environmental and interpretive improvements at other sites. For the further development of the design, they recommended the addition of more street trees around both buildings and the consideration of higher–quality materials for the driveways to the entrance plaza on Jefferson Drive. They look forward to more detailed concept proposals for the project's component pieces—such as perimeter security, the interpretation and exhibit program, demonstration gardens, structures, sustainability measures, and other site improvements.

Please coordinate the further submissions with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.

Sincerely,

/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Secretary

Curtis Wilburn, Jr., Director of Operations
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250–9800

cc: Robert E. Snieckus, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Scott Paden, OLBN

Last Modified: May 28, 2014