CFA 21/MAR/24-2


National Mall and West Potomac Park, from 3rd to 23rd Streets, NW/SW
Washington, DC
United States

National Capital Planning Commission
Monumental Core Streetscape Project
Monumental Core Streetscape Design Guidelines
Review Type
Information presentation
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Acosta:

In its public meeting of 21 March conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts was pleased to hear an information presentation by the National Capital Planning Commission staff on the Monumental Core Streetscape Guidelines, part of the update to the Streetscape Manual for the National Mall. The Commission expressed appreciation for the comprehensive response to its previous comments—an impressive consolidation of a large amount of information, outlining a coordinated design approach for the Mall’s streetscape elements that will strengthen the spatial continuity of the Monumental Core—and provided the following comments.

The Commission members acknowledged that the development of the Streetscape Guidelines will be an ongoing process, and they strongly recommended establishing a regular schedule for revisions to accommodate changing needs, such as evolving technologies. Noting the persistent problem of noise and visual clutter on the Mall, they emphasized the importance of keeping the cross-Mall roadways free of parked vehicles, and they endorsed the guidelines’ prioritization of pedestrian and bicycle use. Finally, they encouraged the use of performance-based metrics in the selection of pavement materials to reduce the heat island effect and improve the environment of the Mall and its urban setting.

The Commission looks forward to the future review of updates to the Streetscape Manual to guide stewardship of this nationally significant landscape. Please continue to consult with the Commission staff which, as always, is available to assist you.

/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Marcel Acosta, Executive Director
National Capital Planning Commission
401 9th Street, NW, Suite 500-N
Washington, DC 20004

cc: Laurin Lineman, Federal Highway Administration
Sharon Kershbaum, D.C. Department of Transportation
Tammy Stidham, National Park Service