CFA 20/NOV/14-5


23rd and C Streets, NW
Washington, DC
United States

U.S. Department of State
Main Headquarters Building (Harry S Truman Building)
Perimeter security barriers and streetscapes
Review Type
Revised concept for overall plan
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Sanders:

In its meeting of 20 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the revised concept plan for perimeter security barriers and streetscapes surrounding the main headquarters building of the U.S. Department of State, located at 23rd and C Streets, NW. Commenting that the plan was responsive to its previous comments, the Commission approved the revised concept and requested further refinement of details.

The Commission members endorsed the proposal as a well-integrated and seemingly effortless response to a highly complex program. They observed that the variable spatial conditions within the design will create credible and inviting public spaces; they requested additional study of the elements of these spaces, such as the design of benches. They also recommended modifying the awkward detail of the horizontal rail as it attaches to the cylindrical bollards, possibly using shrubbery instead of rails to discourage walking through the planted areas. Acknowledging the contemporary best practices of low-impact design, they suggested that these planted areas along the curb support the formal urban character of the State Department complex.

The Commission looks forward to reviewing details and specifications, including plant species, as part of the final design for this project. As always, staff is available to assist you with the next submission.

/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Robert H. Sanders
Office of Real Property Management
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

cc: Enrique Bellini, KCCT
Faye Harwell, Rhodeside & Harwell