Intersection of Maryland and Independence Avenues, between 4th and 6th Streets, SW
Dear Mr. Vogel:
In its meeting of 18 June, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed and approved the final design submission for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, subject to the inspection of additional mockups and material samples as the sculptures, tapestry, and other design elements are developed and documented to complete the final review process.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the ongoing refinement of the design and the responsiveness of the project team throughout the lengthy review process, resulting in an elegant memorial that is expressive of our time. They commended the project team for the inventiveness and exploration involved in developing the design, which they said will be successful in conveying a deep understanding of Eisenhower and will create a beautiful urban park experienced as a layered landscape. They noted in particular the figure of Eisenhower as a youth, which they said will provide young visitors an accessible and inspirational touchstone for the story of this military leader and U.S. President in a particularly transformative period of modern American history.
In their review of the presentation, the Commission members endorsed the design and typographic treatment of the inscription panels, with the request to study further the visual relationship of commas and periods within the body of the text. Given the layout of pathways into the memorial core, they suggested considering whether the proposed emblems on the two freestanding columns would be more successful if located on two sides of the columns. Finally, they expressed great support for the effort taken in the design process to address utilitarian issues such as perimeter security in a graceful way.
The Commission thanks the project team for its vision in developing the typologically innovative design for this national memorial and looks forward to seeing its construction as a worthy addition to the capital city. The staff is available to assist in the review of outstanding documentation items and mockups which is a condition of this final approval.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Robert Vogel, Regional Director
National Park Service, National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242
cc: Carl Reddel, Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
Craig Webb, Gehry Partners
Roger Courtenay, AECOM
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
Property: Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial
Maryland Avenue, SW at Independence Avenue between 4th and 6th Streets, SW, Washington, D.C.
CFA Submission File Number: CFA 18/JUN/15-5
Action: Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for final design approval
The National Park Service (NPS), on behalf of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, has requested approval of the site and building plans for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, as shown in materials submitted and received on 4 June 2015. Pursuant to Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR, Parts 1500-1508), and the Commission of Fine Arts' (CFA) Rules and Procedures For Application of the Requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act To Review and Approval of Commemorative Works Site and Design Proposals, I have evaluated the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Environmental Assessment, September 2012 (EA) provided by the NPS, comments that NPS received on the EA, NPS responses to those Comments, and the NPS FONSI dated March 2012; this evaluation also includes review of the NPS Final Determination Letter of 8 May 2015 finding no new or intensified adverse effects, the subsequent letter of concurrence by the DC State Historic Preservation Office dated 22 May 2015, and the NPS Signatories Notification of Objection by Consulting Party memorandum dated 4 June 2015.
Based on this evaluation, I have adopted the applicant's EA and determined that the proposed memorial will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Provided that the design and construction for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial project satisfies the following mitigation measures in the applicant's EA, the preferred alternative will result in long-term positive impacts to the human environment with regard to cultural resources, natural resources, transportation, and pedestrian circulation:
The design will conform to the seven design principles (guidelines), listed in Appendix C of the Memorandum of Agreement among the NPS, NCPC, DC SHPO, ACHP and the EMC regarding the establishment of the Eisenhower Memorial, Washington DC, signed and dated 1 March 2012.
The design principles:
1) Preserve reciprocal views to and from the U.S. Capitol along Maryland Avenue.
2) Enhance the nature of the site as one in a sequence of public spaces embellishing the Maryland Avenue vista.
3) Create a unified Memorial site that integrates the disparate parcels into a meaningful and functional public gathering place that also unifies the surrounding precinct.
4) Reflect L'Enfant Plan principles by shaping the Memorial site as a separate and distinct public space that complements the Department of Education Headquarters and other surrounding buildings.
5) Respect and complement the architecture of the surrounding precinct.
6) Respect the building lines of the surrounding rights-of-way and the alignment of trees along Maryland Avenue.
7) Incorporate significant green space into the design of the Memorial.
/s/Thomas Luebke, FAIA
16 June 2015