CFA 16/JUL/09-2


Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and Grounds, West Potomac Park
United States

National Park Service
Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and Grounds, West Potomac Park
Rehabilitation of pool, landscape improvements for Elm Walks, and installation of security barriers for east plaza of the Memorial
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Ms. O'Dell:

In its meeting of 16 July, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept submission for perimeter security, accessible circulation, and landscape improvements east of the Lincoln Memorial. The Commission approved the concept with enthusiasm, noting its ongoing support for the removal of security elements that interrupt the primary vistas to and from the memorial.

The Commission members expressed appreciation for the careful analysis that was evident in the presentation of alternatives. However, they asked for more design development of the treatment of barriers within the landscape, including the more precise location and height of walls and bollards in relationship to existing security elements and other landscape features. They also requested a clearer depiction of the visual impact of the proposed changes on the landscape, particularly regarding the location of sunken barriers and retaining walls. Finally, the Commission members raised concerns about the design of the existing Elm Walks and proposed walkways along the Reflecting Pool—including the treatment of paving and its edges, as well as associated furniture such as lights, benches, and trash receptacles—and requested a revised concept presentation with further development of this proposal. Future presentations should also include options for the treatment of the Reflecting Pool itself—its sustainable maintenance, edge conditions, and relationship to the surrounding landscape and hydrologic system—as part of the general scope of this project.

The Commission encourages the comprehensive approach toward addressing the larger security, circulation, and landscape design systems which underlie this initiative for the Lincoln Memorial grounds. As always, the staff is available to assist you in refining the multiple design elements to achieve the expeditious implementation of this project.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Margaret O'Dell, Regional Director
National Park Service, National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242

cc: Peter May, National Park Service
Alan Ward, Sasaki Associates