CFA 20/MAY/04-13

United States

D.C. Department of Transportation
District of Columbia entrance gateway signs. 35 locations at the major entrances to the city. Concept


Dear Mr. Deatrick:

During its meeting of 20 May, the Commission reviewed the proposed concept for the District of Columbia Gateway signs designated for thirty-five (35) locations. The Commission felt that the designs for these signs, marking the entrances to the nation's capital city, should be more dignified, more discreet in size, and perhaps, fewer  in number. The graphics on the face of the signs should also be reconsidered.  The selection of typefaces  was  thought to be too casual and the representation of the District's logo, based on George Washington's family crest, is poorly executed. In addition, the signs should be fabricated with longer lasting materials than the proposed  back-lit clear lexan polycarbonate sheets-which is all too easily marked and defaced.  It was suggested that the shape of the surrounds supporting the aluminum framed signs, with its cast concrete pediment and two finial balls set on brick columns, creates a connotation that is more appropriate for a suburban development and inappropriate for the city's entrance signs. This is a project that should be very carefully designed, graphically as well as architecturally, as these signs will become the introductory image for all who  enter the District. Perhaps this is an opportunity to engage a national  design  competition  to generate a more creative and appropriate solution.

The Commission looks  forward to further review of this project for the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). As always, the staff is  available should  you require  assistance.


Frederick J. Lindstrom
Acting Secretary

John Deatrick
District Department of Transportation
64 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002

cc: Muhammed Khalid, DDOT