101 Harry Thomas Way, NE (at Q and 3rd Streets, NE)
Dear Ms. Gillis:
In its meeting of 15 June, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for the new “NoMa Green” park at 101 Harry Thomas Way near 3rd and Q Streets, NE. The Commission expressed enthusiasm for the proposal to add a park in this rapidly redeveloping area and approved the submission with recommendations for the development of the design.
The Commission members commended the design team for a sophisticated scheme that configures the park’s recreational program around a central green, while suggesting minor adjustments to the design. They supported the character of the east–west allée and the mix of program elements along it, while recommending further study of the layout of these elements to facilitate social interaction—such as between the café and playground—and to avoid potential conflicts between cyclists, pedestrians, and other park users. They also recommended further study of the park’s entrances, particularly in their relation to the existing surrounding fabric, and they suggested measures to reduce the speed of cyclists at the north end of the reconfigured Metropolitan Branch Trail as it crosses the park. They noted that the park structures have not yet been designed, and they requested that the project team consult with the Commission staff in the development of these structures, and of the park as a whole, before proceeding toward a final design submission. Finally, they expressed concern that budgetary constraints may result in design modifications that would compromise the appeal of the park as presented.
The Commission looks forward to the next review of this promising project. Please coordinate a consultation meeting with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Greer Johnson Gillis, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Stacie West, NoMa Parks Foundation
Jeff Aten, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects
John Burke, Studio27 Architecture