Reservation #9, bound by 13th, 14th, I, and K Streets, NW
In its meeting of 18 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a revised concept design for the rehabilitation of Franklin Park, bounded by 13th, 14th, I, and K Streets, NW. The Commission approved the submission with recommendations for the development of the design.
The Commission members expressed support for the proposal, which they said will revitalize the park by balancing its layers of historic designs with current needs. They endorsed the goal of treating the central plaza as the primary public gathering space, with a larger, redesigned fountain that will draw visitors year-round; they expressed support for reintroducing shade trees in order to encourage comfort for many users. Providing comments on the range of options for reconceiving the deteriorated fountain—which they found to be underscaled within the context of the new design—they noted that its reconstruction would constitute an overemphasis on a historic object that may compromise the goals of this rehabilitation project. They observed that preservation principles may allow for a range of other possibilities, such as enlarging the fountain or changing its shape, which would keep its essential characteristics while avoiding a nostalgic reconstruction. They also expressed support for other proposed elements of the redesigned park, including the pavilion at the south and the garden at the northeast.
The Commission looks forward to further review of the design for this important downtown park. As always, the staff is available to assist you with your next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini, Acting Regional Director
National Park Service, National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242
cc: David Rubin, Land Collective
Ashton Allan, Studios Architecture
Neil Albert, Downtown DC Business Improvement District