2051 and 1951 Constitution Avenue, NW
Dear Ms. Varnon:
In its public meeting of 15 September conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the final design for the renovation of and additions to the Marriner S. Eccles Building (2051 Constitution Avenue, NW) and the Federal Reserve Board–East Building (1951 Constitution Avenue, NW, the former Interior South Building), as well as associated site work for both properties. Expressing appreciation for the responsiveness to its previous guidance, the Commission approved the submission for the comprehensive project.
In general, the Commission members commended the project team for the coherence and clarity of the presentation. They cited in particular the thoughtful, well-resolved site design, which they said successfully balances technical requirements for perimeter security with the preservation of the buildings’ historic landscapes while improving the quality of public space. They also supported the proposed redesign of 20th Street with a configuration that maintains a street section centered on the historic alignment that carefully accommodates security setback restrictions, the retention of street parking, adequate building yard areas, and safe turning movements for the new garage entrance. In their support for the refinement of the proposed additions to both buildings, they described the large addition to the East Building—with its sophisticated design of opaque, translucent, and transparent panels—as a luminous composition in respectful conversation with the historic architecture.
The Commission appreciates the thorough process of consultation, deliberation, and refinement that has produced a nuanced design and offers an exemplary model for accommodating change to landmark historic properties. The Commission looks forward to the completion of improvements for this nationally significant architectural complex within the monumental core of the capital city. Please coordinate the review of any refinements and construction mockups with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Director, Management Division
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Washington, DC 20551
cc: Rod Henderer, Fortus (Callison–RTKL)
Tom Jester, Fortus (Quinn Evans Architects)
Alan Ward, Sasaki Associates