Southeast Freeway bridge
8th Street, SE
Dear Mr. Delfs:
In its meeting of 15 July, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept proposal for the Barracks Row mural on the north face and underside of the Southeast Freeway overpass at 8th Street, SE. Expressing enthusiasm for the idea of enlivening the street corridor through public art, the Commission approved the concept for the treatment of the abutments beneath the overpass with general recommendations, but did not approve the concept for the north face of the overpass.
The Commission recommended that the area beneath the highway be treated in the manner of an interior room by increasing the scale and number of murals, adding more lighting, and including the ceiling within the decorative scheme. The Commission commented that this approach would enable the artist to control the space and to create a composition which could enhance the pedestrian experience of walking beneath the overpass. Understanding that the overpass structure functions as a gateway, the Commission recommended that the ornamentation proposed for the exterior surfaces be simplified to function as a frame for the space inside, using an abstract or architectural language rather than trompe l'oeil images.
In its support of advancing the design, the Commission requested that the artist meet with the staff prior to finalizing the next submission. As always, the staff is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
Branch Manager, Strategic Planning
D.C. Department of Transportation
2000 14th Street, NW, Sixth Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Martin Smith, Barracks Row Main Street
G. Byron Peck, City Arts