CFA 21/NOV/02-12


Birney Elementary School
Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Sumner Road, SE
United States

D.C. Public Schools
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Birney Elementary School
New school building. (Previous: CFA 19/SEP/02-10)
Review Type
Design development


Dear Mr. Morrow:

During its meeting of 21 November, the Commission reviewed the concept design for the modernization and replacement of the Birney Elementary School located at 2501 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE. Although the site and building plans were previously approved, the Commission requested continued study on the elevations. The rear elevations are more successful due to the addition of color and pattern. However, the east elevation's uniform glazing requires more study and perhaps the integration of color, pattern or a vertical rhythm as a way to relieve the horizontal monotony. Finally, the brickwork of the stair tower is over­ articulated in comparison to the rest of the detailing and requires additional investigation.

We understand that the existing entry facade is being considered for demolition, rather than preservation. This decision will allow for a new design that can be  adaptable to contemporary education concepts and practices. Please give the demolition alternative a full measure of consideration.

Please submit this project for further review when ready. As always, the staff is available should you or the design team require guidance.



Harry G. Robinson III, FAIA

David Morrow
Design Manager, Design Management Branch
Engineering Division
Department of the Army
Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 1715
Baltimore, MD 21203-1715

cc: Geoffrey Lewis, Gauthier, Alvarado & Associates
Justina Nesbitt, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers