8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Dear Mr. Anderson:
In its meeting of 16 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a second concept submission for the renovation of Eastern Market Metro Park, a group of open space parcels near the Eastern Market Metro station along Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. The Commission approved the proposal labelled “Current Concept Plan,” with the following recommendations for further development of the design.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the effort to simplify and advance the initial concept proposal, but they commented that further simplification would still be beneficial; while they acknowledged the desire to accommodate the many features that have been requested through the extensive collaborative process of community and stakeholder consultation, they emphasized that the project cannot accommodate all of this programming within these heavily used parcels of relatively modest size. They recommended consideration of additional factors in the placement of several of the park’s features: the playground would have excessive exposure to direct southern sunlight; some of the proposed benches may be uncomfortably close to noisy traffic; the small landscape islands in Parcel 4 would interfere with the heavy pedestrian traffic near the Metro station entrance; and the nearby kiosk could be repositioned to the edge of the proposed “Town Center Plaza” to avoid interrupting the spatial clarity of this open space. They strongly recommended eliminating the water feature at 8th and D Streets, suggesting instead to treat the entire southeastern half of Parcel 4 as a bosque of trees. They advised that the placement of these trees and others be considered more carefully to create a stronger spatial frame for the South Carolina Avenue axis, although not necessarily defined by strict rows of trees. More broadly, they suggested that the tree canopy serve as a unifying feature across all of the park’s parcels.
The Commission looks forward to further review of this project as the design is developed. Please coordinate the next submission with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Keith A. Anderson, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Paola Moya, Moya Design Partners
Susan England, Land Design