1700 G Street, NW
Dear Ms. Wright:
In its meeting of 19 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a final design for proposed alterations and additions to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau headquarters building and plaza at 1700 G Street, NW. The Commission expressed general appreciation for the simplification of the landscape design and approved the proposal subject to review of the final documentation by the Commission staff.
In their support for the architectural modifications to this significant modernist building, the Commission members endorsed the revisions to the design, including the proposal to relocate the daycare center to the ground floor. They delegated the final review of remaining design issues, such as alterations to the first-floor exterior columns, to the staff. For the design of the plaza, they commented that while some of the nuanced complexity of the concept had been lost in the development of the design, they supported the effort to make the landscape simpler and more viable. They made specific recommendations for the adjustment of the final design, including revising the handrail at the front access ramp to be mounted to the adjacent walls instead of being supported by stanchions, and lowering the height of seat walls from eighteen inches to improve ergonomic comfort.
For the required display of architectural features salvaged from the Beaux-Arts bank building that had once occupied this site, the Commission members continued to support the installation of the larger roundels within the ground-floor passages of the northern block of the building. For the display of the smaller artifacts within the plaza, they did not approve the options proposed to mount the ornamental stone blocks within metal frames, either at the stair enclosure structure or along the pergola adjacent to the historic Winder Building. Commenting that these blocks would best be displayed as pieces recessed within a larger wall, they suggested incorporating them into the north and west walls enclosing the stair structure as the most promising solution; they delegated the final approval of this design issue to the Commission staff.
Please coordinate with the Commission staff for the documentation and review of the final design.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Mina Wright, Director
Office of Planning and Design Quality
General Services Administration, National Capital Region
401 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20407-0001
cc: Suzanne Tosini, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Aimee Woodall, RTKL
Andrew Lewis, D.C. Historic Preservation Office