Arlington National Cemetery
Millennium Site (Old Warehouse Area, and Fort Myer Picnic Grounds—north of the Post Traditional Chapel)
Dear Mr. Maj:
In the meeting of 15 June, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the preliminary plans and designs for the Arlington National Cemetery Millennium Site Expansion Project. The Commission is supportive of the need to enlarge Arlington National Cemetery and has no objection to providing additional space for future interments provided that the design of the landscape and the associated structures in this new area of the cemetery are of the highest quality and worthy of our nation's military members and their families.
The Commission did not make a recommendation on the proposal; instead, the Commission members requested an opportunity to inspect the project site before their next meeting to better understand the conditions and terrain of the designated expansion area. In addition, the members asked that additional section drawings of the site be prepared to illustrate the proposed alterations to the site grading and the resulting changes to the existing topography and vegetation.
The Commission members raised concerns about the configuration of the proposed perimeter retaining wall topped with a metal fence. This retaining wall would serve as both a security barrier and columbarium, presenting design challenges that require further study. The members also recommended that the entrance gate, the committal service shelter, and the details of the other columbarium areas be studied further. The members strongly urged that this project rise to the highest standards of design to maintain the dignified character of the existing cemetery.
The Commission looks forward to continued collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers and Arlington National Cemetery in the development of this most important project. Please coordinate the site inspection with the Commission staff before our next meeting on 27 July. As always, the staff is available to assist you and the design team.
/s/Thomas Luebke, AIA
Ronald J. Maj, P.E.
Chief, Military Design Management Branch
Engineering Division, Department of the Army
Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 1715
Baltimore, MD 21203-1715
cc: John C. Metzler, ANC
John Forgue, USACE CENAB-EN
Frank Cirincione, USACE, CENAB-EN-MP
Rich Opem, CDM