Stoddert Elementary School
4001 Calvert Street, NW
Dear Mr. Lew:
In its meeting of 19 March, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the revised concept for additions to and renovation of the Stoddert Elementary School at 4001 Calvert Street, NW. The Commission appreciated the development of the exterior design of the proposed addition and approved the revised concept, while noting additional concerns to be addressed as the design is completed.
The Commission members expressed concern that the western portion of the proposed parking area will have a significant negative impact on the site, including the existing topography and trees. The Commission recommended that the landscape architect carefully study the grading and the possible need for a retaining wall, requesting an analysis of loss of trees resulting from the west extension of the parking lot. They acknowledged that locating a portion of the parking elsewhere on the site may be difficult and commented that a reduction in the parking program would be desirable to limit the impact on the landscape.
The Commission commented positively on the changes made since last month's presentation; they also recommended further development of the detailing of the facades, commenting on the large scale of the west wing's south elevation—perhaps excessively scaled for the young students—and the desirability of fenestration or other visual relief on the north facade of the proposed gymnasium.
Also during the 19 March meeting, the Commission confirmed the recommendation from the meeting of 19 February, when a quorum was not present, concerning the initial concept submission for the project; this recommendation was conveyed in our previous letter dated 27 February 2009.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
Allen Lew, Executive Director
Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization
2400 East Capitol Street
Washington, DC 20003
cc: Sean O'Donnell, Ehrenkrantz Eckstut and Kuhn