CFA 20/MAY/10-2


National Mall
Center lawn panels (#29, 30, and 33) between 3rd and 7th Streets
United States

National Park Service
National Mall
Reconstruction of the turf and soil, and installation of an irrigation system and new granite curbs and gutters
Review Type


Dear Ms. O'Dell:

In its meeting of 20 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept submission for turf and soil reconstruction, a new irrigation system, and new granite curbs and gutters for three center lawn panels on the National Mall. The Commission expressed its appreciation for the concept and approved it with the following comments.

The Commission members supported the proposal to edge the lawn panels with masonry curbs and gutters incorporating a drain, which will provide a clean edge for the panels; they unanimously expressed a strong preference for the use of granite instead of precast concrete. They recommended minimizing the width of this border and reducing the radius of the corners to clearly distinguish the design from typical street curb details and noted the importance of carefully integrating the drains into the design.

The Commission members expressed their support for the effort to create a sustainable design that will withstand conditions of heavy use. Regarding the proposed irrigation system, they suggested using only center and edge water supply lines—which should be sufficient and easier to protect from damage—and eliminating the lateral lines. They advised considering biodiversity when selecting plant materials for the lawn panels. Finally, the Commission encouraged the National Park Service to strengthen the policies and procedures governing maintenance and events on the Mall to further protect the lawn panels.

As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Margaret O'Dell, Regional Director
National Park Service, National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242

cc: Peter May, National Park Service
Suzette Goldstein, HOK