SL 08-137

HPA number
HPA 08-512

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol Street, SE
United States

D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Folger Shakespeare Library
Monumental window replacement, new signs
Review Type


Dear Dr. Paster:

In its meeting of 16 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept design for replacement windows and new exterior signs at the Folger Shakespeare Library at 201 East Capitol Street, SE (case number SL 08-137). The Commission considered these two elements independently and made separate recommendations as described below.

The Commission supported the proposal to replace the deteriorated original steel windows with thermally-broken fixed aluminum windows and approved the concept design for the replacement windows. The Commission recommended that, as part of final approval, the applicant construct full-scale mockups of the narrower, deeper replacement mullions and compare them on site with the original mullions to assess the change in appearance.

Regarding the proposed exterior signs, the Commission members expressed concern that the solar-powered banner supports, while attractive in themselves, would detract from the historic facade and may give the unwelcome impression of commercializing this august institution. The Commission members made several suggestions to alleviate the impact of the signs: locating the signs at the street corners or flanking the theater entrance only; redesigning the signs to be lower; or eliminating the banners entirely. The Commission requested a new concept submission for exterior signs, including a night lighting study of the signs in the context of the illuminated building and site.

For the replacement windows, please file a permit submission of working drawings with details when ready. The Commission looks forward to further review of the concept design for exterior signs. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Gail Kern Paster, Executive Director
Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

cc: Garth Rockcastle, Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle