CFA 18/OCT/07-4


National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum (Old Patent Office Building)
7th and F Streets, NW
United States

Smithsonian Institution
National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum (Old Patent Office Building)
South stair reconstruction, landscaping, and perimeter security
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Rombach:

In its meeting of 18 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the final submission for the Old Patent Office Building housing the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Commission approved the designs for the south stair reconstruction, the exterior landscaping, and perimeter security which included two new guard booths, operable bollards at the vehicular drive, and the restored iron fence on a new 26-inch-high stone-capped perimeter wall. The Commission commended the Smithsonian Institution for the overall simplification of the perimeter security design.

The Commission members expressed concern about the number and scale of signs on the building and surrounding the site as seen in the drawings and photographs. The Commission regrets that the Smithsonian Institution has not provided a submission of this signage, some of which has already been installed. This component of the project is clearly subject to review by the Commission; as such, the Smithsonian should provide a formal submission at the earliest opportunity.

As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.



Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Harry Rombach, R.A.
Associate Director for Facilities Master Planning
Smithsonian Institution
600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 5001
P.O. Box 37012, MRC 511
Washington, DC 20013-7012

cc: Elizabeth Broun, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Marc Pachter, National Portrait Gallery
Mary K. Lanzillotta, Hartman-Cox Architects