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. Carlstrom:
During its meeting 17 February 2005, the Commission reviewed the revised concept design for the three overlook structures included in the new Georgetown Waterfront Park plan. The idea of the three overlooks by artist Jody Pinto was well received by the members. However, the Commission continues to recommend the simplification of their designs.
These whimsical overlooks may be considered more sculptural than functional. The use of stainless steel mesh for the canopy-like roofs will undoubtably provide a continually changing experience as it reflects light and cast shadows, but may not provide sufficient solar protection that many of the park's visitors may desire when sitting under a wayside pavilion. A denser, more shade producing, roofing material should be considered. In addition, it is understood, that at night, the desire is the illuminate the site with a unique light from within the fiberglass seats, however the durability of these materials and the manageable maintenance of the light fixtures may ultimately result in long term problems for the park's caretakers.
The members also questioned the need and appropriateness of the proposed 75 foot tall internally-illuminated masts that would jut out at an angle over the water from the center of the pavilions. It was suggested that it may be simply be a matter of removing the masts altogether, or that a significant reduction in their size may help make them more acceptable. These items should be carefully studied. In addition, the use of wood plank decking at the overlooks was perceived as unnecessary as it differentiated these areas from being a integral part of this small park. As such, continuation of the walkway paving material, with a slight variation in color, texture or pattern, would suffice to demarcate the overlooks.
We took forward to the continued review of the design of these items as they develop. Renderings of the stainless steel mesh, or alternative materials, on the canopies and a rendering of the overall appearance of the overlooks at night should be included with the next revised concept submission. Our next meeting is scheduled for 17 March, with a 3 March submission deadline. As always, the staff is available to assist you.
/s/Frederick J. Lindstrom
Terry R. Carlstrom
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
Ignacio F. Bunster-Ossa, Wallace, Roberts & Todd, LLC