CFA 17/NOV/05-4


National Museum of Natural History
Constitution Avenue at 10th Street, NW
United States

Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of Natural History
Perimeter security barriers
Review Type


Dear Mr. Rombach:

In the last meeting of 17 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the preliminary design for perimeter security at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. The Commission members were supportive of the overall design, particularly as it relates to the Mall-wide security plan for the Smithsonian Institution, but they raised concerns about specific parts of the scheme facing Constitution Avenue.

The first concern was the treatment of the main entrance on Constitution Avenue where the proposed design included a segmented sculptural element of cubic metal as part of the perimeter security barrier. The Commission members suggested that the design of the barrier reflect more directly the subject of natural history. They also recommended that the treatment of the polished metal bollards should be more harmonious with the austere classical style of the museum's architecture. Finally, the Commission members asked that the rhythm of the low barrier fence along the length of Constitution Avenue be more carefully related to the symmetry of the building and commented that additional trees in the lawn could improve the current haphazard arrangement.

The Commission looks forward to seeing further development of these elements of the perimeter security design for the Museum of Natural History and as always, the Commission staff is available should you require further assistance.



Thomas Luebke, AIA

Harry Rombach
Associate Director for Facilities Master Planning
Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012
VB 5200 MRC 908
Washington, DC 20013-7012