8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Dear Mr. Anderson:
In its meeting of 21 March, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept proposal for the renovation of Eastern Market Metro Park, a group of park parcels near the Eastern Market Metro station along Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. The Commission did not take an action on the proposal, providing the following recommendations for the development of the design.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the extensive consideration of programming that is apparent in the design, resulting from analysis of the site conditions and consultation with the community. However, they commented that the resulting proposal appears overly complicated, lacking the conceptual strength and clarity of design appropriate for this prominent open space at a major transportation node within a densely populated neighborhood and retail area. Observing that Pennsylvania Avenue and 8th Street will continue to cut through the site, they suggested that the effort to treat the multiple parcels as a single, rectangular space may be hindering the development of coherent, welcoming public parks within the two larger parcels at the southwest and northeast corners. They therefore recommended developing a flexible design suitable for each of these larger parcels and their adjacent neighborhood uses, as well as establishing a hierarchy of landscape elements—such as circular plazas, bosques of trees, the South Carolina Avenue axis, and stormwater areas—that would establish a common spatial and design language among all the park parcels.
The Commission members supported the effort to add street trees where feasible, consistent with the context of the neighborhood streets and the major arterial of Pennsylvania Avenue that provides a vista to the U.S. Capitol; the site plans and trees should also reinforce the alignment of South Carolina Avenue through the site. They suggested that additional trees could be placed in regular bosques, and they encouraged the use of tough, resilient plantings, particularly in the medians and in the smaller bowtie parks at the northwest and southeast corners of the site.
The Commission looks forward to the review of a new concept submission. Please coordinate with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Keith A. Anderson, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Paola Moya, Moya Design Partners
Susan England, Land Design