CFA 20/APR/17-1


southern terminus of 10th Street, SW
Washington, DC
United States

National Park Service
Benjamin Banneker Park
Pedestrian-bicyclist connection between 10th Street and Maine Avenue -- interim stairs and ramp
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Vogel:

In its meeting of 20 April, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the final landscape design submission for interim pedestrian and bicycle connections through Benjamin Banneker Park at the southern terminus of 10th Street, SW. The Commission approved the submission with the following recommendations to be resolved in consultation with the staff.

The Commission members expressed support for the project, which they said will create a welcoming link between 10th Street and the Southwest Waterfront. Regarding the long retaining wall at the base of the hillside, they recommended eliminating the proposed variety of surface textures, commenting that the planting of vines and the effect of natural light on the curving south-facing wall would provide sufficient visual relief. Observing that the proposed tree plantings resemble clumps rather than groves, they suggested planting a larger number of trees in looser, more naturalistic groupings that would extend across paths, improving the experience of moving through the park. For the proposed hillside planting, they requested a detailed layout plan documenting the intended tapestry-like effect; they also advised eliminating the invasive Japanese barberry shrubs from the planting plan. They supported the proposed selection of a modern lighting fixture for this project. Finally, they strongly recommended proceeding with planned improvements to the overlook area—the primary designed landscape within Banneker Park—as soon as is possible.

Please coordinate the documentation of the final design details with the staff, which, as always, is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Robert Vogel, Regional Director
National Park Service, National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242

cc: Otto Condon, ZGF Architects
Elizabeth Miller, National Capital Planning Commission
Shawn Seaman, Hoffman-Madison Waterfront