CFA 16/SEP/10-2


National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
United States

Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of American History
New windows in lower facade of the west terrace and modifications to the terrace
Review Type


Dear Ms. Trowbridge:

In its meeting of 16 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept design for alterations to the National Museum of American History at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, approving the modifications to the west terrace and Option 1.B for new windows in the west facade of the podium.

In their discussion, the Commission members noted the importance of aligning the masonry opening for the proposed upper windows with the full width of the existing lower windows, as shown in Option 1.B; they observed that a stepped window configuration would be inconsistent with the architectural logic of the existing building. The Commission enthusiastically supported the Smithsonian Institution's stated intention to reinstall the Alexander Calder stabile "Gwenfritz" in its original location in front of the west terrace; they urged that it be placed in a reflecting pool as it was originally conceived and displayed.

The Commission looks forward to review of the final submission. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Ann Trowbridge
Associate Director for Planning
Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012, MRC 511
Washington, DC 20013-7012

cc: Brent Glass, National Museum of American History
Don Jones, Ewing Cole Architects