CFA 16/APR/09-6


Columbus Plaza at Union Station
Massachusetts Avenue between North Capitol Street and Second Street, NE
United States

D.C. Department of Transportation
Columbus Plaza at Union Station
Revisions to plaza to improve vehicular and pedestrian access and circulation
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Klein:

In its meeting of 16 April, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the final design for the reconfiguration of Columbus Plaza at Union Station to improve vehicular and pedestrian access and circulation. Although lacking a quorum, the Commission members present recommended final approval of the plans to reconfigure the plaza; they noted that the submission incorporates an earlier separate proposal for adjacent perimeter security which is not included in this approval.

Among the alternatives presented for the brick paving in the new areas of the extended plaza, the Commission approved Option A as the sample with the best color and texture in the context of the historic plaza. In addition, the Commission recommended that the four grass panels be eliminated from the traffic island at the intersection of First Street and Massachusetts Avenue and replaced with paving to match the other islands surrounding the plaza.

The Commission encouraged the National Park Service to restore the plaza fountain concurrent with the reconfiguration and restoration of the plaza so that the fountain is fully operational when the plaza is completed. The Commission also requested that the design team consult further with the staff on the design of the adjacent perimeter security and associated lighting elements, reiterating its delegation of the final review and approval of this portion of the overall design to the staff.

As there was not a quorum during the review of the project, this recommendation will be placed on the agenda for confirmation at the Commission's meeting of 21 May. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the final submission of the perimeter security and lighting elements.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Gabe Klein, Director
District of Columbia Department of Transportation
2000 14th Street, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20009

cc: David S. Ball, Union Station Redevelopment Corporation
Peter May, National Park Service
Ali Shakeri, D.C. Department of Transportation
Gary A. Burch, Parsons
Michael E. Dunn, National Railroad Passenger Corporation
John R. Bowie, John Bowie Associates