300 Indiana Avenue, NW (at the Henry J. Daly Building)
Dear Mr. Blake:
In its public meeting of 20 May conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a revised concept submission for the rehabilitation and expansion of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Memorial, located near the northwest corner of the Henry J. Daly Building at 300 Indiana Avenue, NW. The Commission did not take an action, providing the following comments for the further development of the proposal.
The Commission members expressed support for the memorial’s overall composition and the reconfiguration of the proposed access ramps. However, they questioned the compatibility of the contemporary architectural language of the new curving wall within the existing formal design character of the Daly Building and the octagonal fountain, and they found that the wall’s strong, extended form may detract from the commemorative focus. Instead, they recommended refining the design to emphasize the central precinct of the fountain with the new wall, more consistent with the geometric simplicity of the existing context. In order to give greater commemorative weight to this central area of the wall, which is to be inscribed with the names and dates of the fallen police officers, they recommended designing it as a tabular stone element of similar width to the fountain plaza; the curving paths could be treated more simply, similar to others in Judiciary Square. For the graphic design of the new memorial wall, they recommended developing a clearer logic to present the list of names and dates, characterizing the proposed alternating layout as confusing. For the central grouping of the D.C. Metropolitan Police seal medallion and explanatory text, they noted the difficulty of inscribing the proposed small text on granite; they suggested distinguishing this information from the inscribed names, such as on a bronze plaque set within the larger composition of the memorial wall.
The Commission looks forward to the further review of this project. Please coordinate the next submission with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Donald Blake, President
The Washington Metropolitan Police Memorial and Museum, Inc.
300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Suite 4067
Washington, DC 20001
cc: Hany Hassan, Beyer Blinder Belle
Robert J. Contee III, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department