Fort Stanton Park (1901 Fort Place, SE)
Dear Mr. Vogel:
In its meeting of 15 June, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for site and security improvements at the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum, located at 1901 Fort Place, SE, in Fort Stanton Park. The Commission approved the submission with the following recommendations for the development of the design.
The Commission members observed that the success of this project will depend on the careful reshaping of the topography associated with the museum’s entry drive, plaza, and new bioretention swales. They expressed appreciation for the intended functional goals of the project, but they cited the need for a strong conceptual basis to guide design decisions. Finding that the program elements appear to be merely distributed across the site, they recommended further integration of the proposal’s adjacent but seemingly unrelated site elements in support of the stated educational goals. For example, the distinct functional areas of the entrance plaza and rain garden could be reconceived as a hybrid typology that could also serve as a teaching space. This concept could be developed further to include providing more convenient access to and accommodation within potential instructional spaces along the rain garden; using double-sided or backless benches to increase visitor engagement with both the plaza and rain garden; and developing further the walks as inviting spaces with benches.
The Commission looks forward to further review of this project. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Robert Vogel, Regional Director
National Park Service, National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242
cc: Ann Trowbridge, Smithsonian Institution
Chris Graae, Cox Graae + Spack Architects
Kevin Fisher, Rhodeside + Harwell