CFA 18/SEP/08-5


Columbus Plaza at Union Station
Massachusetts Avenue between North Capitol Street and Second Street, NE
United States

D.C. Department of Transportation
Columbus Plaza at Union Station
Revisions to plaza to improve vehicular and pedestrian access and circulation
Review Type
Revised concept
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Seales:

In its meeting of 18 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed and approved the revised concept for the reconfiguration of Columbus Plaza in conjunction with a proposal for adjacent perimeter security for Union Station. The Commission expressed its appreciation for the revisions to the public space and surrounding traffic lanes to retain and extend the original Beaux-Arts character of the plaza, which has resulted in a more coherent design.

In addition to their comments in support of the proposed configuration of the plaza, the Commission members made several recommendations regarding the treatment of the brick paving. In the extensions to the plaza, the Commission recommended that the color of the brick pavers in these new walkways should be the lighter of the two samples shown. In the area of the existing plaza, the Commission members commented that the grading and pattern of the brick paving may have been altered, particularly adjacent to the planting beds and the bases of the flagpoles; they asked that the design team research these details and, if supported by the historic record, regrade the plaza and reset the bricks to conform to the original configuration.

The Commission looks forward to reviewing further development of this proposal for this important civic space in the capital city. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Frank Seales Jr., Interim Director
District of Columbia Department of Transportation
2000 14th Street, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20009

cc: David S. Ball, Union Station Redevelopment Corporation
Lisa Mendelsohn-Ielmini, National Park Service
Said Cherifi, D.C. Department of Transportation
Gary A. Burch, Parsons
Michael E. Dunn, National Railroad Passenger Corporation