CFA 19/JUN/08-6


Union Station
50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
United States

National Railroad Passenger Corporation
Union Station
Perimeter security
Review Type


Dear Mr. Dunn:

In its meeting of 19 June, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed installation of a perimeter security barrier for the front of Union Station in conjunction with a related proposal for improvements to the adjacent Columbus Plaza.

The Commission recommended that the security scheme be revised and resubmitted without the fenced planting beds, which the Commission members considered to be out of character with the historic station and an impediment to pedestrian access to the arcades flanking the building’s main entrance. The Commission suggested that the best solution may be a simple line of bollards set a few feet back from the curb; this configuration would provide the maximum porosity for pedestrians to access the station’s arcades and would have the least visual impact on the front of the station and its plaza. The Commission members suggested that long lines of bollards could be terminated with bollards or piers of a different material, designed and located to relate to the modulation of the arcades and to complement the architectural expression of the building and plaza.

The Commission looks forward to reviewing further design development of this security project. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Michael E. Dunn
Director of Design Support
National Railroad Passenger Corporation
360 West 31st Street
New York, NY 10001

cc: John R. Bowie, AIA, John Bowie Associates
Emeka Moneme, Director, D.C. Department of Transportation
David S. Ball, Union Station Redevelopment Corporation
Joseph M. Lawler, National Park Service
Gary A. Burch, Parsons