Dear Mr. Thomas:
In its meeting of 17 April, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for a memorial park commemorating the victims of the 2009 Metrorail Red Line accident, to be sited at the corner of New Hampshire and North Dakota Avenues, NE. The Commission approved the concept with several recommendations for further development of the design.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the sensibility of the design as both a memorial and a neighborhood park. They recommended a more deliberate treatment of the mounds beneath the nine memorial sculptures as more significant land forms, noting that a shallow slope may not be sufficiently perceptible. They also recommended a more emphatic constructed edge for the mounds that could be used for the placement of the victims' names rather than inscribing names directly on the sculptures, which could give them the appearance of gravestones. For the design of the granite sculptures, they favored the more textured and randomly offset treatment of the stacked blocks as depicted in the earlier studies, commenting that this would allude to the human figure and convey a sense of individuality that is appropriate for this commemoration. Finally, the Commission members suggested that the trees could be grouped to create a greater density and more powerful character in the landscape.
The Commission looks forward to review of the final design. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Lionell Thomas, Executive Director
D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
200 I Street, SE, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20003
cc: Lucrecia Laudi, Hunt Laudi Studio