CFA 16/OCT/03-19


Birney Elementary School
Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Sumner Road, SE
United States

D.C. Public Schools
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Birney Elementary School
New school building
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Eichler:

The Commission reviewed, during its 16 October meeting, the design for the replacement building for the Birney Elementary School, located at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr,Avenue and Sumner Road SE, and made a several recommendations to further improve the design. The two areas that should be given additional consideration are on the street elevations; the materials selected for the curving wall at the main entrance, and the accent colors of the metal trim at the entrance and of the metal panels on the upper story.

The curved wall at the entrance, proposed to be made of stainless steel tubes and teak wood ribs, was felt to be unrelated to the balance of the other facade materials and of questionable durability. The members recommended this portion of the facade be restudied and a suggestion was made that, for this wall, the darker colored beige brick, in a simple stacked bond course, could be used. In addition, the members were concerned that the bright accent colors proposed for the metal frame of the doorway and canopy at the main entrance and the metal panels on the second floor were a bit too bright and would draw one's focus away from the intricately patterned brick in the building's principal walls. A selection of more muted colors in these areas would help to visually balance the overall composition.

The Commission looks forward to further review of this project as the design is finalized. Please forward the revised drawings, including detail landscape plans, when ready. As always, the staff is available should you or the design team require guidance.


Donald A. Capoccia
Vice Chairman

Mr. Herbert Eichler
P.E. Chief, Military/SFO Section
Military/SFO Management Branch
Department of the Army
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
P.O. Box 1715
Baltimore, MD  21203-1715

cc: Sarah J. Woodhead, AlA, DCPS
Justina Nesbitt, U.S.Army Corps of Engineers
Geoffrey Lewis, AlA, Gauthier, Alvarado & Associates