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CFA 20/FEB/14-1

14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
United States
Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Material finishes of corona panels and landscape–related building materials
Review Type: 
Previous Review: 


27 February 2014

Dear Dr. Bunch:

In its meeting of 20 February, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed final material finishes for several components of the National Museum of African American History and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution, now under construction at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW. Commending the Smithsonian's careful and thorough research of options, the Commission approved the preferred alternatives for the proposed finishes of the corona panels and landscape–related building materials.

The Commission members emphasized that the corona is not only the signifier of the new museum, but also will contribute to the monumental symbolic language of the National Mall. They expressed appreciation for the improvement of the preferred finish for the corona panels over previously presented options, and they endorsed the five–coat bronze–colored polymeric painted finish identified as "Custom Artisan #3.5." They reiterated that all aspects of this exceptionally prominent building and its detailing must be of the highest possible quality, and they emphasized the importance of retaining the spirit and quality of bronze in order to create a rich and memorable visitor experience.

The Commission thanked the Smithsonian Institution for its diligence and thoughtful collaboration in the development of the design over many years and looks forward to the completion of this nationally important cultural institution. As final documentation of the project is completed, the Commission requested that the Smithsonian project team coordinate with the Commission staff for the delegated final review of the inscriptions and any outstanding elements, such as interpretive signage and art installations. As always, the staff is available to assist you with any future submissions.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA Secretary

Lonnie Bunch, Ph.D., Director
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012, MRC 509
Washington, DC 20013–7012

cc: Ann Trowbridge, Smithsonian Institution
David Adjaye, Adjaye Associates
Phil Freelon, The Freelon Group
Kathryn Gustafson, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol