CFA 16/MAR/23-2


various sites within the Reserve
Washington, DC
United States

National Park Service
Global War on Terrorism Memorial
Site selection for new memorial
Review Type
Site selection
Submitted Documents


Dear Ms. Hall:

In its public meeting of 16 March conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a site selection study for a memorial for the Global War on Terrorism, to be located within the Reserve as defined in the Commemorative Works Act. The Commission approved Site A within West Potomac Park, comprising the northern part of the triangular area bounded by Constitution Avenue, 23rd Street, and Henry Bacon Drive, NW, with the following comments.

The Commission members observed that Site A would locate the planned memorial within the context of several other nearby memorials commemorating military conflicts of the 20th century, allowing for a conversation about the nation’s modern history and fostering intergenerational awareness for visitors and families. They noted that the nearby U.S. Institute of Peace would provide an additional dimension of context for the memorial. Expressing appreciation for the presented site studies, they emphasized that their approval of Site A does not include an endorsement of any particular design approach.

The Commission members emphasized that this triangular panel is an integral part of the open landscape around the Lincoln Memorial, and they recommended providing the widest possible setting for it, with all the new memorial’s elements kept low and well outside the diagrammed radius from the Lincoln Memorial. They encouraged further exploration of the siting strategy suggested in Study B, which would place the memorial toward the north end of the site along Constitution Avenue; this placement would avoid intruding on the axis between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the future Desert Shield and Desert Storm Memorial, allowing for a spatial relationship among the three memorials that would support an understanding of the nation’s collective sacrifice. They questioned whether the large water feature included in the study would be appropriate at this location near the Lincoln Memorial, observing that it might be perceived as extending the Romantic landscape character from Constitution Gardens to the east; they said this concern should be considered further as a design is developed.

The Commission looks forward to reviewing a concept design for this important memorial, which will become a permanent part of Washington’s commemorative landscape. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Kym A. Hall, Area Director
Region 1 – National Capital Area
National Park Service
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242

cc: Alan Harwood, AECOM
Michael Winstanley, Winstanley Architects & Planners
Michael Rodriguez, Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation