Dear Ms. Tregoning:
In its meeting of 19 July, the Commission of Fine Arts was pleased to hear a presentation by the D.C. Office of Planning on the future of the Saint Elizabeths East Campus. In its review of the proposal to redevelop the 180-acre parcel of the National Historic Landmark campus with 4.2 million square feet of mixed-use development, the Commission offered the following comments.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the retention of historic buildings within the campus and the flexible parking proposal that would support the continued use of these buildings. However, they raised concern about the impact of this scale of development on the historic campus which, unlike the West Campus development, is being planned speculatively without specific tenants. They observed the considerable contrast of the proposed development with the fine grain of the surrounding residential neighborhood and the picturesque character of the campus's historic core; they suggested the development of the plan to mitigate this contrast through sensitive building design typologies and street connections. They noted the proposed placement of an art gallery in the historic agricultural area in the northern portion of the campus, suggesting that cultural and community uses also be included in more central areas of the proposed development.
The Commission looks forward to the review of proposals for individual buildings associated with the East Campus development when ready. As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Harriet Tregoning, Director
D.C. Office of Planning
1100 Fourth Street, SW, Suite E650
Washington, DC 20024
cc: Ethan Warsh, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development