3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Dear Mr. Kelly:
In its meeting of 21 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a proposal for the reconfiguration of the lower entrance to the National Zoological Park adjacent to Rock Creek Park. Citing several design concerns as well as a lack of documentation, the Commission did not take an action and provided the following comments.
The Commission members reiterated their support for many other components of the submission, including the proposed bandstand and kiosk complex and the relocation of the glockenspiel. However, they commented that the design of the entrance landscape was too open and exposed, lacking enough shade to make it a comfortable place. Consistent with the location of this landscape within the forested Rock Creek valley, they encouraged the development of a woodland character on a grander scale through the planting of additional shade trees instead of the proposed beds of shrubs and perennials. While they supported the general configuration of the traffic oval, they recommended planting shade trees within the traffic island, suggesting that trees in this location would not obscure visibility for drivers. They noted the awkwardness of the curving juncture of dissimilar paving materials at the drop-off area, and they recommended further development of the paving materials and their details.
The Commission members requested another presentation of the revised design, which should include scaled construction drawings, site sections, and details such as the paving. As always, the staff is available to assist you with further development of this project.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Dennis W. Kelly, Director
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
P.O. Box 37012, MRC 5508
Washington, DC 20013-7012
cc: Ann Trowbridge, Smithsonian Institution
Hal Davis, SmithGroup JJR