Dear Ms. Hall:
In its public meeting of 15 July conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept submission of alternative designs for the new park space to be created by the reconfiguration of the intersection of Pennsylvania and Potomac Avenues with 14th Street, SE, along Pennsylvania Avenue’s radial approach to the U.S. Capitol. The Commission approved Alternative 1 for the park space and provided the following comments for the development of the design.
The Commission members commented favorably on the thoughtful development of design alternatives for this new park space, which will become part of Washington’s characteristic pattern of small formal parks at major intersections. They expressed support for the concentric elliptical forms of Alternative 1, agreeing that this design would provide a welcoming central space and would also accommodate pedestrians passing through the new park. They commented that the outer ring of large trees would define the park’s oval shape and help shelter a new, occupiable central landscape from nearby traffic; they said this central space should be generally open, informal, and low in its plantings, with no low-branching trees. For the development of the design, they recommended careful study and adjustment of the specific widths, alignments, and intersections of the walkways within the park in order to minimize obstructions to pedestrian circulation.
The Commission looks forward to further review of this project and appreciates the collaboration between the National Park Service and the D.C. Department of Transportation in the design and stewardship of this new public space. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/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: Redeat Lodama, Brudis & Associates
Elliot Rhodeside, Rhodeside & Harwell
Everett Lott, D.C. Department of Transportation