CFA 20/APR/17-5


1st and R Streets, SE
Washington, DC
United States

D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Pepco Substation
Public art installation, "Flash Point" by David and Eli Hess
Review Type


Dear Mr. Espinoza:

In its meeting of 20 April, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept proposal for a public art sculpture, “Flash Point,” by artists David and Eli Hess, to be installed at the Potomac Electric Power Company’s new substation at the corner of 1st and R Streets, SW. The Commission approved the concept design and made several recommendations for the development of the proposal.

The Commission members recommended that the diameter of the base of the “wands”—formed of bundles of stainless steel tubes—should be reduced to achieve a more elegant proportion for these elements. They observed that the bronze filaments connecting the spheres at the tops of the wands are the most important feature of the sculpture, and they recommended that the filaments be as exuberant as possible to better express the dynamics of arcing electricity. In addition, they commented that the rectangle of small pavers in the sidewalk is unnecessary, and that the planting area at the base of the sculpture should be less rigidly determined by the sidewalk paving pattern. They encouraged coordination with the D.C. Department of Transportation to consider relocating the streetlight pole proposed at the corner, which would distract from the sculpture.

The Commission looks forward to reviewing a final submission that addresses these issues of fabrication and refinement of details. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Arthur Espinoza, Jr., Executive Director
D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
200 I Street, SE, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20003

cc: David and Eli Hess
Chris Taylor, Pepco