2051 and 1951 Constitution Avenue, NW
Dear Ms. Varnon:
In its meeting of 21 November, the Commission of Fine Arts was pleased to hear an information presentation on plans for the renovation and expansion of the Marriner S. Eccles Building (2051 Constitution Avenue, NW) and the Federal Reserve Board–East Building (the former Interior South Building, located at 1951 Constitution Avenue, NW). The Commission expressed general support for the plan to add to these two significant historic buildings and to alter their associated landscapes, as shown in the preferred Option B, and provided the following comments.
In their discussion of the presented alternatives, the Commission members found that the proposed massing for the new additions is the most important issue when considering the project, with the expectation that a suitable architectural treatment will be developed for the selected massing. They expressed support for the project’s goals related to the health and well-being of employees, including the ample use of daylight for work and cafeteria spaces within the renovated buildings; they also encouraged continuation of programs that support employee use of public transportation and cycling, with the goal of reducing the number of underground parking spaces envisioned for the two buildings. They expressed support for the exploration of opening to the public the broad, formal landscapes along Constitution Avenue, commenting that the fountains are particularly beautiful elements within these spaces adjacent to the National Mall. They also advised coordinating with other streetscape and perimeter security improvement projects in the area to prevent a discordant treatment of the public realm within the institutional and monumental context of the Northwest Rectangle.
The Commission looks forward to review of the project when it is submitted at the concept level. As always, the staff is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Director, Management Division
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Washington, DC 20551
cc: Rod Henderer, Fortus (Callison-RTKL)
Tom Jester, Fortus (Quinn Evans Architects)
Alan Ward, Sasaki