Dear Ms. Mendelson-Ielmini:
In its meeting of 16 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for a new pavilion on the southwest grounds of the White House, proposed to replace existing restrooms and storage facilities, within an adjacent maintenance building, that currently serve the tennis court. The Commission approved the concept submission, with several recommendations to improve the design and its relationship to a larger, multi-phase project for replacing the maintenance building and its service yard.
In their support of the neoclassical design, stylistically reminiscent of other dependencies to the residence, the Commission members noted the impact the proposed pavilion would have on the adjacent Children’s Garden. They recommended study of the relationship among the Children’s Garden, the new pavilion, and the future reconfiguration of the service yard, with the goal of retaining the garden’s enclosed spatial qualities and intimate character. They also suggested that, as the design for the maintenance facility is further developed, the service yard could be reconfigured slightly with less rigid biaxial symmetry to provide additional room for the Children’s Garden and accommodate a new pathway to the Kitchen Garden.
The Commission looks forward to further review as the designs for the pavilion and alterations to the Children’s Garden landscape are refined. Please coordinate the next submission with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini, Acting Regional Director
National Park Service, National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242
cc: Timothy Harleth, Chief Usher, The Executive Residence
Steven Spandle, Architect
John Stanwich, Office of the National Park Service Liaison to the White House