Dear Mr. Acosta:
The Commission of Fine Arts appreciated the information presentation of the public draft of the National Capital Framework Plan at its meeting of 17 July. The Commission also thanked the National Capital Planning Commission for its generosity in hosting the presentation and acknowledged the many months of close cooperation between the two agencies in developing the Framework Plan. The Commission members commented on the extensive work and depth of detail contained in the document and the presentation, as well as the strong effort to engage multiple government agencies and outside participants.
Consistent with its comments on the Framework Plan in July 2007, the Commission recommended that the emerging issue of sustainability should be more strongly addressed in the plan, allowing it to embody the values of our time just as the major historic plans for Washington have incorporated the values of their own eras. The Commission members said that the Framework Plan should address sustainability issues—such as energy conservation, environmental design, and urban habitat systems—in a way that underlies every feature of the plan. They recommended taking advantage of the plan's large scope by addressing these issues at the broadest possible scale, rather than applying sustainability concepts to individual projects only. The Commission members also suggested that more emphasis be placed on transportation, particularly transit, and encouraged bold imaginative proposals for new systems that will improve connections among the Framework Plan study areas, the National Mall, and other parts of the city.
The Commission appreciated the clarity of the oral presentation but commented that the printed document is not as clear as it could be in conveying the plan's ambitious urban design intentions. The Commission members emphasized the need to align the plan's proposals with the details of the terminology and the renderings. They suggested that the report could be edited to improve its readability, recommending careful attention to the graphic and organizational hierarchy to emphasize better the plan's key priorities and goals. In addition, the members expressed interest in elaborating on the relationship of the Framework Plan to the historic plans from which it proceeds, including Extending the Legacy from 1997 and the McMillan Plan from 1901. While the Commission members appreciated the detail and substance in the draft plan report, they also supported the intention to develop an executive summary document.
The Commission looks forward to seeing the further development of the National Capital Framework Plan, and of course the staff will continue to work with you in refining the proposal to address these comments.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
National Capital Planning Commission
401 9th Street, NW, Suite 500-N
Washington, DC 20004
cc: Elizabeth Miller, National Capital Planning Commission