Constitution Avenue, NW, southwest side of The Ellipse
Dear Ms. Mendelson-Ielmini:
In its meeting of 17 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept submission for alterations to the Second Division Memorial, located on the south side of the Ellipse at Constitution Avenue, NW. The Commission expressed appreciation for the design team’s thoughtful analysis, approving Option D-1 and providing comments for the development of the design.
The Commission members found that Option D-1—which extends the memorial’s raised platform southward to accommodate two new stone plinths, reproduces the existing central stepped approach, and provides barrier-free access to the platform—would appropriately integrate the new addition within the historic memorial and its 1960s expansion. For the refinement of the design, they advised pursuing a subtle differentiation of the new paving from the existing, an approach which they characterized as successful in the earlier extension. They recommended further study of the configuration and grading of the proposed curvilinear walkway from Constitution Avenue, suggesting that the widely arcing path could be slightly asymmetrical in response to the context and character of the Ellipse; they also suggested elimination of the existing flower beds as the landscape design is developed.
The Commission looks forward to further review of this prominent project. Please coordinate the next submission with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini, Acting Director
Region 1–National Capital Area
National Park Service
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242
cc: Hany Hassan, Beyer Blinder Belle