Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Main Section
14th Street Gate at Alaska Avenue
Dear Mr. D'Amico:
During its meeting of 20 May the Commission reviewed the proposed plans for the additional security modifications to all the entrance gates at the main section of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington, DC. While the members regret that such measures are needed, they understand the need and the desire to enhance the protection of the Center and gave final approval to the site plans, as presented, for the Alaska Avenue at 14th Street Gate, and the proposal for the Dahlia Street Gate. The members look forward to reviewing the fmal design of the guard booths for these two gates when they are further developed. Their design should emulate the detailing of the booth design presented for the other gates.
The proposed concept plan for the Elder Street gate was found to be acceptable, but the plan for the 16th Street gate generated several recommendations for additional modifications. The members encourage the design team to make every effort to preserve the mature trees on the site. It is greatly appreciated that much work has been done to reduce the size and spread of the requisite turning lanes and vehicle inspection areas, but any additional reduction in the overall footprint would be appreciated and where possible should be considered. The proposed design for the encircling retaining wall was felt to be too elaborate and too tall. It was suggested that the wall not be stepped, but that it be allowed to follow the rise and fall in the contours of the ground it supports. In addition, every strategy to reduce the apparent visual or actual height of the wall should be employed. Incorporating additional landscaping in front of or in the wall will help soften its appearance.
While the members did not state a preference on either of the color schemes presented for the visitor registration buildings, it should be kept within the family of building colors found elsewhere on the campus. Every effort should be made to keep theses structures from appearing too "commercial" or overly institutional. Diligent and careful detailing of these buildings will ensure that they appear open and welcoming to the visitor, as they will undoubtedly become the front door for visitors to the center and its hospital. With these comments taken into consideration, the concept design for this facility should be modified and resubmitted when ready. As always, the staff is available should you require additional guidance.
Frederick J. Lindstrom
Michael A. D'Amico
Director of Public Works and Transportation
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Department of the Army
Washington, DC 20307-5001
cc: Majorie Marcus, WRAMC
Louise Brodnitz, WRAMC
Joseph Parello, WRAMC
Jefry A. Zalewski, Cetrom