Federal Office Building #8 (formerly Food and Drug Administration)
2nd and C Streets, SW
Dear Mr. McGill:
In its meeting of 19 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the revised concept design for the landscaping of the building plaza and surrounding streetscape at the Federal Office Building #8 located at Second and C Streets, SW. The Commission acknowledged that this proposal is part of the ongoing project to modernize and renovate the existing building and will be the first project in the proposed comprehensive urban improvement plan to rehabilitate public spaces in the Third and C Streets neighborhood. The Commission approved the concept design for the landscaping and perimeter security with several recommendations for additional study.
Regarding the design of the entrance plaza, the Commission members commented that circulation space at the corners of the new entrance pavilion within the paved oval appears constricted and should be enlarged to allow more room for pedestrians to cross. For the curb-side security elements, they recommended that all the metal elements—including bollards as well as metal railings within the building yard—be painted in the same light color to create a simple, uniform appearance. In addition, they suggested further study of the design of barriers surrounding the tree boxes, possibly to eliminate the horizontal railings connecting the bollards and to create a masonry base at the enclosure for these planting areas for mounting the bollards. The Commission members noted that the proposed species of the street trees varies on each side of the building; they recommended that the type of trees on the adjacent blocks be coordinated with the others along each of the adjoining streets.
The Commission looks forward to the review of the next submission for this project which should include both the building modernization and the landscaping. As always the staff is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
Special Assistant for Regional Coordination
National Capital Region
U.S. General Services Administration
301 7th Street, SW Room 7600
Washington, DC 20407-0001
cc: Dennis B. Carmichael, EDAW