Dear Mr. Hanlon:
In its meeting of 21 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed and approved a concept design for proposed alterations and additions to Roosevelt Senior High School, located at 4301 13th Street, NW. The Commission expressed strong support for the general direction of the proposed renovation, restoration, and expansion plan to accommodate the school's large program, making several recommendations for the design as it is developed.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the restraint in the design to reinvigorate courtyards, reclad old additions, and create appropriate new additions while renewing many of the building's historic features, such as the entrance porch, the roof, and the neo–Georgian cupola. For the design of the site, they supported the general strategy for the extensive complex but expressed concern about the landscape along the west (13th Street) side of the historic building. Observing the potential conflicts between the historic porch and platform, the existing earthen terraces, and the new proposed pedestrian access ramps, they recommended that a simpler geometry–studied in three dimensions as a sculptural landscape–be employed to reconcile the topographies of the new walks, ramps, and historic fabric. They recommended retaining the historic configuration of the front entrance stairway and overlook.
The Commission delegated the review of the final design that responds to these comments; please coordinate the review of the final submission with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Brian Hanlon, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Matthew Bell, Perkins Eastman, DC