MacDill Boulevard and South Capitol Street, SW
Dear Mr. Lewis:
In its meeting of 16 February, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a revised final design submission for a large-scale installation of solar panels at Joint Base Anacostia– Bolling in Southwest Washington, D.C. The Commission approved the design of the panels and fences at the three proposed sites, while requesting a revised landscape design that responds to its comments.
The Commission members continued to question the adequacy of the proposed landscape design in ensuring the survival of the plantings. While expressing appreciation for the further consideration of plant species according to general climatic conditions of the military base, they raised concern that the proposed planting plan does not address the specific conditions of poor soil quality and solar orientation of the different segments of the sites’ perimeters. For example, they observed that the design does not distinguish between northern and southern orientations, which should be planted differently due to their different conditions of shade and exposure, with taller trees located to provide the protection necessary for the health of lower plants; they requested prototypical planting schemes to address these varying conditions. They also suggested a conceptual approach of plantings in naturalistic thickets in order to establish the character of a mature habitat. For the fence, they requested that the framing and screen elements be in the same color.
The Commission anticipates that the details of the planting plan can be developed and documented as the installation of the photovoltaic panels and perimeter fence proceeds. Please coordinate the requested documentation of the landscape design with the staff which is, as always, is available to assist you with the submission required to complete the final review.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Thomas P. Lewis
Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Washington Navy Yard
1314 Harwood Street, SE
Washington, DC 20374-5018
cc: James Cannon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Peter May, National Park Service