SL 09-106


United Unions Building
1750 New York Avenue, NW
United States

D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
United Unions Building
Additions and alterations. Concept


Dear Mr. McHugh:

In its meeting of 17 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept design for additions and alterations to the United Unions Building at 1750 New York Avenue, NW. The Commission encouraged the general direction of the proposal to enhance the building's ground-level entrances and plaza but requested further development of the design as a revised concept submission.

In their discussion, the Commission members noted the resolved character of the existing modernist building and the difficulty in adding to it; they supported the introduction of sculptural pavilions as a counterpoint to the formal architecture and they also expressed appreciation for the use of oxidized steel as a reference to one of the trade unions headquartered in the building. However, they raised concerns about the multiplicity of disparate elements—canopies, benches, sculptures, doorways, umbrellas—and recommended that these be fewer and more bold to emphasize the building's main entrance and restaurant only. The Commission members also suggested that the installation of sculpture by a nationally recognized artist could do much to increase the visibility of the building and site.

The Commission looks forward to a revised concept submission that addresses these concerns with the goal of contributing to the design of the urban context and the experience of the pedestrian. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA Secretary

Ed McHugh
United Unions, Inc.
1750 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006

cc: P. Robert George, United Unions
Anik K. Jhaveri, Mancini Duffy