CFA 15/FEB/24-2


Indiana Plaza at 7th Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Indiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
United States

National Park Service
Texas Legation Memorial
Design for a new memorial
Review Type


Dear Ms. Hall:

In its public meeting of 15 February conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design proposal for a memorial within an existing raised planter bed along the 600 block of Indiana Avenue, NW, to commemorate the legation that represented the Republic of Texas during its period of independence in the 1830s and 1840s. The Commission members present recommended approval of the concept and provided the following comments.

The Commission members expressed support for the proposal to memorialize the Texas Legation with a metal medallion mounted on a five-sided granite plinth that would rise from the center of a five-pointed granite star, surrounded by plantings intended to recall Texan landscapes. However, they expressed concern about the legibility of inscriptions that would be carved on three sides of the plinth, which are meant to be seen from a distance of approximately five feet; they therefore recommended further study of the size and kerning of the lettering to ensure these inscriptions can be easily read. Observing the low height of the plinth’s granite base—designed in the shape of a star to represent the Lone Star State—they commented that it may soon become obscured by the proposed dense landscape plantings; they therefore suggested using a more substantial piece of granite so that the base will remain visible. Finally, they endorsed the intent to plant a single sweetbay magnolia tree, rather than a redbud, as an appropriate representation of the Republic of Texas.

As a quorum was not present for the review, these comments and recommendations will be placed on the administrative agenda for confirmation at the Commission's next meeting. Please continue consulting on the further development of this important project with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.

/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Kym A. Hall, Area Director
Region 1 – National Capital Area
National Park Service
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242

cc: Caroline Warlick Levins, Beyer Blinder Belle
Sara Downing, Oehme van Sweden
Kitty Mellen Hoeck, Daughters of the Republic of Texas
Marcel Acosta, National Capital Planning Commission