Georgetown Waterfront Park
bounded by the Potomac River and Water Street, from the Francis Scott Key Bridge to the terminus of 31st Street
Dear Mr. Lawler:
During its meeting of 16 June 2005, the Commission reviewed various phases of the Georgetown Waterfront Park: the revised concept design for the Wisconsin Avenue Terminus Plaza; the final design for the western portion of the park from Wisconsin Avenue to 34th Street; and the concept development for the sculptural elements proposed for the three overlooks.
The concept design of the plaza on the terminus of Wisconsin Avenue was approved with recommendations for final design to be consistent with the west end of the park as noted below. The members observed that the revised design of the fountain is an improvement over what was originally proposed.
Regarding the western portion of the park, the Commission made the following recommendations for its final design approval. The quality of the materials used should be improved, particularly for the westward curving paths from K Street to the river. These paths should not be paved in asphalt–which has limited durability and may require extra maintenance– but should be made of concrete pavers to match those used elsewhere in the park. The use of trees with a higher canopy is preferable to lower flowering trees to maintain the view of the river from K Street. In addition, the number of flowering trees lining the paths should be reduced.
By incorporating these changes and pending the submission of a complete set of detailed drawings, the final design for the western portion of the park will be approved by the staff with the Commission's delegated authority.
After long deliberation and testimony, the Commission members determined that the three sculptural elements at the waterside overlooks are not appropriate. The scale, height, and illumination of the masts, as well as the quality and durability of the proposed materials, continue to be a grave concern for the members. We encourage the design team to consider leaving the overlooks clear of obstructions or returning to the Commission with a new and different design concept for the overlook areas.
We look forward to the review of the final drawings for the park as a whole in the near future as well as any new concepts you may wish to bring forward for the treatment of the overlook areas. As always, the staff is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas Luebke, AIA
Joseph M. Lawler, Regional Director
National Capital Region
US Department of the Interior
National Park Service
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242
cc: John Parsons, NPS
Sally Blumenthal, NPS
Adrienne A. Coleman, Superintendent, RCP, NPS
Ignacio F. Bunster-Ossa, Wallace, Roberts & Todd, LLC.