The meeting was convened at 10:10 a.m. in the Commission of Fine Arts offices in the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.
Hon. David M. Childs, Chairman
Hon. Donald Capoccia, Vice-Chairman Hon. Diana Balmori
Hon. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Hon. Pamela Nelson
Hon. Earl A. Powell III
Hon. Elyn Zimmerman
Mr. Charles Atherton, Secretary
Mr. Frederick J. Lindstrom, Assistant Secretary
Ms. Kristina Alg
Ms. Sue Kohler
Mr. José Martínez
Ms. Susan Raposa
Ms. Sarah Garber
National Capital Planning Commission staff present:
Mr. Bill Dowd
Ms. Elizabeth Miller
Ms. Nancy Witherell
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation staff present:
Ms. Martha Catlin
The sitting Vice-Chairman, Ms. Diamonstein-Spielvogel, opened the meeting with the announcement that a new Chairman and Vice-Chairman were elected at the Commission’s May meeting and that three new members, Diana Balmori, Earl A. Powell III and Elyn Zimmerman, were appointed by the President in June. She said the new Chairman and Vice-Chairman would assume their roles upon the swearing in of the three new members. She asked the Secretary to administer the oath of office to the new members, after which, she would hand the gavel over to the new Chairman, Mr. Childs.
A. Administration of oath of office to Diana Balmori, Elyn Zimmerman, and Earl A. Powell, III.
The Secretary administered the oath of office to Diana Balmori, Elyn Zimmerman, and Earl A. Powell, III. David Childs then assumed the Chairmanship and Donald Capoccia assumed the Vice- Chairmanship.
B. Approval of minutes: 15 May 2003
The minutes of the 15 May 2003 meeting were approved unanimously.
C. Dates of next meetings:
17 July 2003
18 September 2003
16 October 2003 The dates of the next meetings were approved.
D. Proposed year 2004 meeting schedules for the Old Georgetown Board and the Commission.
The Assistant Secretary pointed out three instances in the proposed 2004 meeting schedules that deviated from the usual Thursday meeting and submission deadline dates, due to proximity to holidays. These were the 31 December 2003 Commission deadline, the 21 September 2004 Commission meeting and the 5 January 2004 Old Georgetown Board meeting. There was a question as to whether dedication of the World War II Memorial was to be held on Memorial Day or Labor Day weekend; if Labor Day, would there be a possibility of an August meeting? The Chairman requested confirmation on the dedication date, and moved that the proposed year 2004 meetings schedules be accepted. The schedules were accepted without objection.
E. Report and confirmation of the recommendation on last month’s site inspection of the second set of six bas-relief panels for the World War II Memorial.
The Secretary said that the Commission had visited the studio of Ray Kaskey after the May meeting, to inspect six of the twenty-four bas-reliefs for the World War II Memorial. Photographs of the panels were circulated to the members. Mr. Kaskey had prepared the relief panels in Plasticine, from which molds will be made for casting. For the benefit of the new members, the Secretary said that the relief panels would flank the main entrance to the Memorial at 17th Street and would be part of a wall that begins at grade, then goes down some six feet to the level of a pool. It was suggested that, due to the complex history of the World War II Memorial, the new members should be given more background information, including a visit to both the site and Mr. Kaskey’s studio. The Commission was very complimentary of the relief panels, and asked that their compliments be conveyed to Mr. Kaskey.
F. Report and confirmation of the recommendation on the designs for the 2003 and 2004 nickels commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase.
The Secretary said that the recommendation on the designs for the 2003 and 2004 nickels were made by polling the members. A memo and letter to the Mint confirmed the recommendation. Ms. Kohler said that the reverse for the 2003 nickel would commemorate the Louisiana Purchase, 2004 would commemorate Lewis and Clark and 2005 was yet to be decided. In 2006 the nickel would return to using a portrait of Thomas Jefferson on the obverse and Monticello on the reverse. The Chairman called for a motion to confirm the actions of the staff regarding the nickels. A motion was made, seconded and carried unanimously.
G. Report and confirmation of the recommendation on the design of the official seal for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The Assistant Secretary said that the new agency logo for the Department of Homeland Security was circulated to the members between meetings. He said that the majority of the Commission found the design acceptable and that this acceptance was communicated to Homeland Security. Referring the members to material which showed the logo in various formats such as letterhead and business card forms, the Assistant Secretary said that the logo plays off the Great Seal, and that its center shield with its band of twenty stars represented the twenty agencies that comprised the new department. There were also landscape elements representing mountains, plains and the sea. He said that the Secretary of Homeland Security had already announced its acceptance. The Commission confirmed the recommendation.
H. Introduction of Sarah Garber, summer intern from the American studies program at the University of California, Berkeley.
The Assistant Secretary introduced Sarah Garber, a summer intern with the Commission. He said that Ms. Garber was an American Studies major at University of California, Berkeley and that she was writing her senior thesis on commemorative works in Washington. In addition to her research, the Assistant Secretary said that Ms. Garber was also scanning the Commission’s photo collection and developing an electronic database for the images. The Chairman welcomed Ms. Garber to the Commission.
Before proceeding with the submissions, the Chairman acknowledged the death of Felix de Weldon. Mr. de Weldon was a Commission member from 1950 to 1963 and sculptor of the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. He died on 2 June 2003 at the age of 96.
II. SUBMISSIONS AND REVIEWS
A. Federal Highway Administration / National Capital Planning Commission
CFA 19/JUN/03- 1, Pennsylvania Avenue, between 15th and 17th Streets, NW, and Jackson and Madison Places. Landscape improvements, road resurfacing andsecurity components. Concept. (Previous: CFA 20/MAR/03- 1, Information presentation).
The Assistant Secretary introduced Curt Dowden from the Federal Highway Administration, who, in turn, introduced landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh to make the presentation.
Mr. Van Valkenburgh reviewed the plan he had presented in March, which had undergone no major changes. He observed that the role of Pennsylvania Avenue had changed, from vehicular to pedestrian, and he said that although he wanted to honor its history, he also wanted to change it in ways that would honor its present use and to ensure that it would continue to be welcoming and inviting. He stressed the importance of L’Enfant’s concept of the President’s Park, now Lafayette Park, and its connection with the White House, noting that the pavement for the Avenue would be more park-like than it had been when it was a vehicular thoroughfare. He commented next on the tree-planting plan, noting the removal of the bollards in front of the White House and their replacement with trees, thus reasserting the axial planting along the Avenue. Contrary to what he had presented in March, there would be no mixture of species; all the trees would be Princeton elms, 5-6 inch caliper, planted 30 feet apart. He reviewed the stabilized aggregate paving material to be used for the roadway in front of the White House and Lafayette Park, and the change to granite at both ends of the block, creating a special place for the imposing end structures, including the Renwick Gallery and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the west, and the Riggs Bank and Treasury Building at the east. Here, too, would be the security elements for authorized vehicles, including guard booths, bollards, and sally ports for vehicle turnarounds. Mr. Van Valkenburgh pointed out an important change to the earlier concept design for this area: all trees would be removed from in front of both the Renwick Gallery and the Riggs Bank. He admitted that he had been pressured by officials of both organizations to do this, but actually thought that it would look better.
Mr. Van Valkenburgh then reviewed the major vehicular access, which would be through Jackson and Madison places, to serve the government buildings on both these streets as well as Blair House and the Renwick Gallery on the Avenue. He said the bollards to be used on these access streets would be the same black metal ones now in place, but those on the Avenue would be a new, classical design, oval in shape, fluted, and painted a grey-green; the exception would be the retractable bollards, which would be cylindrical. There had been a change in the arrangement of the bollards in front of Riggs Bank; they would now go straight across, avoiding the front door, rather than jogging, as they had done before.
The pavement pattern would be based on a grid alignment rather than a stacked bond, and Mr. Van Valkenburgh pointed out that there would be a change in color where the level of the pavement changed. “Pinto Pink” and “Blush” were the colors mentioned. The roadway pavers would be 2 by 5 feet, while those for the sidewalks would be 5 by 10 feet. There would be simple, backless stone benches, 18-inches high, made of the same granite as the paving. The benches would be backless, so that people can sit facing either direction. They would be placed in both sunny and shaded spots, for comfort in both winter and summer. There was a consensus that the paving material would have to be approved on the site. Lighting along the Avenue was also discussed, with Mr. Van Valkenburgh saying that the Bacon double-lamp fixture (now called a twin-twenty), traditional for avenues, would be used. To draw attention away from the change in height between the stationary and retractable bollards in the security clearance areas, a hardened lamppost would interrupt the line of bollards where the change occurred.
Questions were asked about the crown of the road–was it still to be eliminated? Mr. Van Valkenburgh said it was, because of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was recommended that he use just a slight crown, to retain the appearance of a road; the slope should not be too evident, and precautions should be taken so that there would be no ponding.
Fred Bland from Beyer Blinder Belle was introduced to discuss his design for the guard booth. There would be four of them, all in important axial positions, and they would be identical, although the architecture in the immediate area varied from Greek Revival to Victorian to Classical Revival. He said his goal was to design a timeless building, although he acknowledged that the base of the Riggs Bank and the color of the cast iron lamppost had been very inspirational to him. He showed drawings of his proposal–a rectangular structure with a heavy granite base, cast iron columns at the corners, a metal entablature, and a hipped, standing seam, lead-coated copper roof. Bollards of the new classical design would anchor the corners, and there would be recessed spotlights at each corner of the roof. It was noted by several of the members that the large amount of glass would make the interior very visible, and that it should be carefully detailed. The comment was made that the relationship between the solid and glazed parts of the walls did not seem quite right, that they were too close to being equal. Mr. Bland said the Secret Service had been very specific about the height of the solid panel, and there were suggestions as to how this could be solved, such as using a strip of dark glass backed by metal for the top section of the solid part, to give it a slight differentiation. Mr. Bland was asked to investigate this and any other way that might occur to him to make the relationship of the two sections more satisfactory.
The comment was made that although the Commission supported the use of a classical design for the guard booth in this place, it was generally supportive of “creative modernism” for architecture throughout the city of Washington. It was noted, however, that context should be the determining factor.
Before any action was taken, the Chairman asked if there were any further questions for Mr. Van Valkenburgh regarding his landscape proposal. A question was raised about the ground cover shown around the trees, versus the iron tree grates shown on the drawings previously. Mr. Van Valkenburgh
said they planned to used liriope, a very durable plant. John Parsons from the Park Service was present and was asked if his agency had any problems with this from a maintenance point of view; he said that, on the contrary, they were very supportive of the change
There was no further discussion. The members expressed their pleasure with the design, and a motion was made that it be approved, with the comments made, subject to review of final details and approval of materials on site. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.
B. Department of Defense / Arlington National Cemetery
CFA 19/JUN/03- 2, Memorial to the Crew of the Columbia Orbiter. Arlington National Cemetery. Designs.
Staff member Kristina Alg introduced Jack Metzler, superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery to present the design for a memorial to the crew of the Columbia Orbiter. Mr. Metzler referenced the explosion of the space shuttle on 1 February 2003 and Public Law 108-11 which authorized the creation of a memorial at Arlington Cemetery.
He explained that the memorial would be located in the same area, Section 46, as the Challenger Memorial and a memorial to the rescue attempt of hostages in Iran in 1908 as well as near the graves of the three Columbia astronauts who were buried at Arlington. The Columbia Memorial would be a two foot by three foot bronze tablet on a granite base, the same size and material as the Challenger Memorial.
Mr. Meltzer said that the base item of the memorial design was the official insignia worn by the astronauts and that when the families were given two choices for what the design would look like they chose the one he was presenting to the Commission. He observed that the families had also requested that the faces of the astronauts be added to the memorial, as they were in the Challenger memorial, and that they were currently discussing that with NASA. On the back of the stone, would be an explanation of the meaning of the logo. Originally the explanation was 205 words but Mr. Metzler said that NASA was working on editing it down to 100 words per the Commission’s previous recommendation that it be the same font and the same size lettering as the poem “High Flight” on the back of the Challenger Memorial. Commission members recommended that a more literary or poetic style be used in editing the passage.
The Chairman observed that the Commission was not particularly happy with the sculptural quality of the heads that were represented on the Challenger Memorial and that it had been relieved by the more basic proposal Mr. Metzer brought. He added that if the memorial was to have the addition of sculptural heads, that the Commission would feel very strongly about using the traditional low relief of coins and other memorial carvings.
Ms. Zimmerman observed that the design was very complicated and recommended that if there were going to be portraits that the names be under the portraits rather than inside the outline of the shuttle insignia.
When asked if they had selected a sculptor Mr. Metzer said that they had not but that they had selected the foundry, Mathews Bronze in Pittsburg. The Chairman wondered if the Commission had names of any sculptors who did appropriate low relief, and if so, would it be proper to recommend one. In response, the Secretary said that there was a group of sculptors who do very flat, very low relief who have worked a great deal with the Mint.
The Chairman thanked Mr. Metzler for his presentation and said that the Commission looked forward to continuing to review the project as it progressed.
C. Department of Defense
1. CFA 19/JUN/03- 3, The Pentagon. Arlington, Virginia. The Pentagon Memorial for the Victims of September 11, 2001. Concept. (Previous: CFA 16/JAN/03-1, Information presentation).
The Assistant Secretary remarked that this was the first formal concept presentation for the Pentagon Memorial to the victims of the September 11 attack. He then introduced Michael Yopp, the project manager from the Pentagon Renovation Office and Jim Laychak, a member of the Family Steering Committee, whose brother died at the Pentagon. After Mr. Yopp introduced himself and the winning concept designers Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman, Mr. Laychak briefly discussed the process of choosing a design and expressed his satisfaction with Ms. Beckman and Mr. Kaseman’s design.
Ms. Beckman and Mr. Kaseman began their presentation with a brief history of the design competition and the major inspirations of their design. They then explained the primary design elements of the memorial. The site would be organized along “age lines” made of half-inch thick aluminum plates that would be flush with the ground and parallel to the flight path of Flight 77. The individual memorial units would be located on the respective age line of each victim arranged from the youngest (three years old) near the entrance to the oldest (aged seventy one); space would be allocated but there would be no lines for years that had no victims. Those memorial units which designated those who were on the plane at the time would be oriented so that if one were looking at the end of the cantilevered bench the sky would be in the background; those represented victims from the Pentagon would be oriented the other way so that a view of the building would be in the background. A perimeter bench and “age wall” would define the physical boundaries of the site. A memorial gateway, which was not on the model shown, would serve as an introduction to the park and as a buffer between the parking lot and the memorial.
Ms. Beckman and Mr. Kaseman then preceded to discuss the memorial units specifically. The aluminum cantilevered benches would appear to grow up out of the ground from between the age lines that go across the site. They would provide a horizontal surface to sit or place mementos on and a reflecting pool that glows with light at night. There would be a pool of constantly rippling water beneath each bench which would be lit and would reflect off the aluminum. At the end of each unit would be the place for the names of each victim to be engraved. Mr. Kaseman pointed out that the 3D design for the aluminum cantilevers would go directly to the mill without requiring any drawings.
The age wall would run along the western boundary of the site between the site and the highway. The age wall would begin at 18 inches above the perimeter bench at the first age line and grow to 71 inches at the last age line. The age lines would clearly reveal themselves through the age wall so that the overall organizational strategy would be clearly evident from outside of the park. Beyond reinforcing the organizational strategy of the site, the age wall would serve as a sound and privacy buffer between the site and the highway and security access lane on the other side.
Ms. Beckman and Mr. Kaseman continued with a discussion of materials. The overall paving surface of the park would be stabilized gravel. Loose, angular-cut gravel would be contained in containment mats and then a very thin layer would be spread across the tops so that the containment mats would be invisible. It would be an ADA-compliant and at the same time be loose enough so that one’s footsteps could be heard. Where the memorial units would grow out of the ground they would be covered with a synesthetic terrazzo with exposed aggregate allowing for a seamless expanse of the site. At the point the unit becomes horizontal it would not be covered but polished smooth.
A grove of paperbark maple trees would be systematically deployed across the site. Their light canopy would create lacy shadows along the ground but enough shade to cover as many of the memorial units as possible. The trees were chosen for their vibrant colored canopy and bark that is brightly colored year round and begins to shed in thin peels as it grows older. Paperbark maple is also the last maple to drop its leaves.
Mr. Kaseman then explained that the memorial gateway was in the early stages of planning. It would be located just outside the park. It would allow for the jogging and bicycle path to cross the secured access land and for people to go around the park without having to run or ride through it as well as provide a gathering space which would serve as an introduction to the park. It would be seen as a clear extension of the memorial park but would also defer to and reinforce the unique qualities within the park. It would be mostly paving along with large areas for planting, bike racks, water fountains and a cast aluminum information plaque at the entrance. The planters would be planted with the same tall grasses being used in the perimeter bench planters.
Ms. Beckman and Mr. Kaseman concluded their presentation and invited questions from the Commission. It was asked how the half-inch thick aluminum plates which would make up the age lines would be affixed and how they would be maintained. Stacie Candrell, Architectural Program Director for the Pentagon Renovation Office, assured the Commission that whatever would be built would be maintainable but that maintenance specifics could not be discussed in public forum as the Pentagon was in the middle of a source selection for design/build at that time.
In response to questions regarding the pools of water beneath the memorial units Mr. Kaseman explained that the pools would be 18 inches deep at their deepest point and that there would be an electronically operated underground mechanical system which would skim, filter and cleanse the water. Ms. Zimmerman observed that, while it seemed like the lighting of the pool would have a special quality at night, she was unsure of how it would look during the day. Mr. Kaseman said that the reflection of the water would also be visible during the day but that they had not yet built a full size prototype. Ms. Diamonstein-Spielvogel observed the large number of unexpected night visitors at the FDR memorial and Mr. Lindstrom pointed out the fact that the site would be visible from certain flights leaving National Airport. Nevertheless, while Mr. Kaseman argued that the water and its emphasis on life was fundamental in the overall scheme of the plan, the members had significant concerns about the maintenance problems related to the pools and were unsure of its necessity.
Ms. Diamonstein-Spielvogel said that she was pleased with the fact that the memorial was visible to visitors, pedestrians and highway traffic and asked about parking for the memorial. Ms. Candrell said that parking was not intended to be dedicated to the memorial. It would rely on Metro access and visitors’ lots on the other side of 395. She explained that, for security reasons, it would not be feasible to have visitors park closer to the memorial. Simply creating the memorial, she said, was a complex security problem because it brought visitors unpredictably close to the Pentagon building in an open way. In response to a question regarding the security measures built into the design of the memorial, Ms. Candrell said that the primary security measure was the separation of the memorial from as many surrounding threats as possible as well as from the building. Mr. Capoccia emphasized that post- completion security additions would be undesirable.
In response to questions regarding what aesthetic considerations it would be appropriate to discuss, Mr. Lindstrom gave a brief time line of the memorial design competition and development. Afterwards the Chairman said that any comments regarding the design development of the concept being presented would be useful and appropriate.
Ms. Balmori asked about the paperbark maple trees and worried that such a small tree would not provide sufficient shade to prevent the benches or the gravel from becoming uncomfortably hot. Mr. Kaseman responded that the trees would be strategically placed to provide shade where the memorial units were.
The Commission then moved on to discuss the gravel and how it would be “carried” up onto the memorial units. Mr. Kaseman explained that the water and the gravel were both important in the scheme’s overall emphasis on life. The idea was to have a field that would be punctuated and permeate simply by light and water where the memorial units would “grow up” out of the ground. There would be consistency across the entire site while, at the same time, the memorial unit would be a special unique place within the overall collective field. Ms. Beckman also said that they wanted to engage as many of the senses as possible; the feel of the gravel and the sound of it beneath the feet would engage more than just the visual sense. The Commission members expressed a great deal of concern about the aesthetic success of the terrazzo aggregate on the memorial units as well as the transition from the lose gravel to the composite matrix affixed to the memorial unit. There were also concerns about the gradual transition being a tripping hazard.
Questions were asked regarding the dimensions of the cantilevers and how they would be attached to the ground. Mr. Kaseman explained that the cantilevers would be 14 inches wide and that the overall unit would be approximately 15 feet long although it would only be 10 feet from where the cantilever would grow out of the ground to its end. The length from the curve to the outside of the cantilever would be approximately 6 feet. The memorial unit would be a symmetrical curve with one half above ground and the other beneath ground creating the pool.
The Chairman said that he was delighted that the process had moved so quickly and recommended that Ms. Beckman and Mr. Kaseman accept the concerns voiced by the Commission. He emphasized the importance of simplicity and encouraged the designers to step back and look at their design with it in mind. He too, expressed concern about gluing the material onto the memorial unit as well as about the pools of water beneath them. He pointed out the potential maintenance and aesthetic problems of debris accumulating in the pools and recommended that the designers look into a lower maintenance way to transmit light beneath the benches in a flickering way that might also speak about life. The Chairman said that since the Department of the Interior previously investigated solidified grave, that it might be useful for the designers to speak with them about that material.
The Chairman called for a motion and it was moved to accept the concept for approval with the request that the Commission’s suggestions and concerns be considered and that Ms. Beckman and Mr. Kaseman return in a timely manner. He asked that the project not move too far ahead without the Commission’s input.
Ms. Candrell asked to state for the record that, while Congress authorized the project and the use of department land that no federal funds were appropriated and funding was to come from private sources. In response to a question regarding the time line for the project, Ms. Candrell said that it had yet to be determined officially and that they were waiting for a certain amount of funding to be available.
The Chairman called for a vote and the concept proposal was accepted with the Commission’s comments and recommendations taken into consideration.
Whereupon, at 12:30, the meeting recessed for lunch until 1:13.
2. CFA 19/JUN/03- 4, The Pentagon. Arlington, Virginia, Intersection of Route 27 and Columbia Pike. New secure access lane to the Remote Delivery Facility. Final. (Previous: CFA 21/NOV/02-7).
Mr. Lindstrom introduced the next two projects which were both transportation projects for the Pentagon. Both were last reviewed by the Commission in November 2002 and both addressed security issues. The first project was for a new secure access lane to the remote delivery facility (RDF) located on the north side, or north triangle of the Pentagon. The secure access lane would allow trucks to be screened before proceeding to the RDF. The lane would run adjacent to the west side of the proposed memorial. Mr. Lindstrom introduced Michael Yopp of the Pentagon Renovation Office to introduce the design team of Ian Bricknell and Deana Poss of EDAW and Earthtech.
Mr. Bricknell said that as it currently stood, trucks traveling north on Route 27 to the remote delivery facility get too close to the Pentagon before they can be screened. The proposal would be to route trucks traveling from Routes 27 or 244 into a queuing area and into a dedicated lane into the RDF. A blast wall would be constructed along the parallel area in close proximity to the building. Briefly reviewing the proposed route, Mr. Bricknell explained that there would be a three-lane wide queuing area on the access road from 27 and 244. From there, trucks would go through a security station where they would be rejected if their paperwork was not in order, or allowed to proceed into the dedicated lane. There would be a blast wall along the portion of the route which runs parallel to the Pentagon building northbound towards the RDF.
In response the Commission’s concerns that the approach to and appearance of the blast wall were too harsh, Mr. Bricknell said that the road bed would be dropped a couple of feet, between its barriers. Previously there were two landscape buffers; these would be consolidated into one 10 foot wide buffer and would use columnar trees at closer spacing. Indicating a rendering that showed the wall against the façade of the Pentagon, Mr. Bricknell said the wall would be 20 feet high at that point and a railing would separate the trail from the truck lane. There would be pedestrian globe lighting and the railing along the top of the wall would be landscaped with vines. The concrete wall would have an Ashlar stone finish, the same as was being used on the RDF. The lighting fixtures would also be the same as those currently in use at the RDF.
Discussing the tree plantings, Ms. Poss said that the trees along Route 27 and the bike trail needed to be columnar in shape and function because of the limited amount of space. To avoid creating a monoculture, several varieties would be spaced in groups of five to seven, before moving onto a
different species. Varieties considered for the planting between the wall and Route 27 included the Summit Green Ash, the Columnar Hornbeam, the Eastern Red Cedar, Dawyck Purple Beech and the Princeton Sentry Ginkgo. Virginia creeper and winter jasmine were being considered for the top of the wall, to minimize the impact of the height and to soften the wall’s appearance from the highway. Plantings along the berm coming off the wall will be integrated as much as possible with existing plantings. Ms. Poss said that the area at the cloverleaf interchange was more uncertain, since it was in proximity with the memorial site. She said that landscaping there would be coordinated with the memorial plans.
The Chairman made some comments before opening the floor to the members. He felt that suggestions made previously about stepping or battering back the wall to visually diminish its proportions had not been taken into account. This was also true, he said, of suggestions to soften the wall’s appearance. While the material of the wall should match material used by the RDF, he said that the wall’s texture could be adapted to soften it’s surface appearance. This would allow for the growth of ivy as a landscape element to further soften the wall. Finally, he suggested that a single variety of tree would work well, and invited Ms. Balmori’s opinion of using a monoculture.
Ms. Balmori was supportive of battering back the wall and said that planting along the edges of such a wall would be helpful. She said that one species along the linear battering would be ideal and that she saw no reason why small trees could not be used there. If different varieties were to be used, then Ms. Balmori agreed that the method of grouping them in groups of five or so before changing varieties would be effective.
When asked if battering back the wall could potentially be a security issue, Mr. Bricknell replied that it could; that any slope in the blast wall could decrease its effectiveness in deflecting any impact on the Pentagon building. While the security implications were understood by the Commission, it was strongly suggested that inventive solutions that would not sacrifice aesthetics for security were possible and crucial. Additionally, it was emphasized that aesthetically pleasing security solutions be implemented as early as possible, to avoid added-on solutions later that may not be as well integrated into the whole.
During a brief discussion of security, Stacie Candrell, Architectural Program Director of the Pentagon Renovation Office, made a few comments. She agreed that it was important to have visually successful security solutions and pointed to the RDF as an example. She clarified that the purpose of the secure access lane project was to screen the drivers more than the trucks, that is, it was intended as a checkpoint to ensure that that truck drivers had the necessary paperwork to proceed to the RDF. The intent and priority, she said, was to impact the public less with the queuing elements and to create a solution flexible enough to accommodate changes in security status, i.e. Code Orange versus Code Yellow, etc. The fact that the Pentagon was located in a very public area as opposed to a remote location was also a consideration and the safety of all was at issue. The Commission restated that while it recognized the vital importance of security and safety, to implement security solutions at the expense of good design was counterproductive, and harmful to the openness of our democracy and institutions.
The Chairman summed up the issues addressed and recommendations suggested as an increase to the height of the wall, the creation of setbacks and creative uses of material and landscape elements within the wall, the specific landscape of the trees and an assurance that there will be a cooperative design with the memorial design team. He asked for and received a motion to approve the project with these considerations. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.
3. CFA 19/JUN/03- 5, The Pentagon. Arlington, Virginia. Pentagon Secure Bypass; Realignment of Route 110. Final. (Previous: CFA 21/NOV/02-6).
The second of the transportation and security projects for the Pentagon reviewed by the Commission in November 2002 was the realignment of Route 110. Mr. Lindstrom said that Route 110 went through the Pentagon parking lot, under the plaza which was the main ceremonial entrance to the Pentagon and continued under the Interstate 395 interchange. The proposal was to move and reroute the road from where it comes in the Pentagon reservation out toward the water and back to the bridge underpass. This would allow enough stand-off distance so that it would no longer be necessary to have a continuous guard or to keep larger vehicles from that section of highway. Mr. Lindstrom introduced Michael Yopp of the Pentagon Renovation Office to introduce the design team. Mr. Yopp introduced J. Paul Lewis and Jim Brown to make the presentation.
Mr. Lewis began by showing the Commission images of existing conditions on the site, including the proximity of Route 110 to the Pentagon. Redirecting Route 110 underground was not an option because Metro tunnels and utilities occupied subterranean space. The proposed solution, Mr. Lewis said, was to bring Route 110 south of the face of the River Terrace with an attempt to minimize the impact to the lower parade ground, Boundary Channel Drive and the flag plant leading to the ceremonial boat landing.
Turning to materials, Mr. Lewis said that there would be stone elements with rustication. He pointed out that part of the Pentagon was made of concrete that emulated stone and that theme would be visited in the presentation. He then turned the presentation over to Mr. Brown for a discussion on plant materials.
Mr. Brown said that in selecting plant materials, the idea was to soften the impact of a four-lane highway going through the lower parade ground. The existing site was a formal, well maintained landscape, and Mr. Brown said they would use elements from that landscape to use on Route 110 as it passed through the lower parade ground. A large hedge located at the top of the River Terrace would be relocated to Route 110 at the lower parade ground, as would 500 shrubs of hornbeam hedge. The roadway would be recessed seven feet below grade, and once the hedge is added, vehicles such as trucks would be screened on that stretch, the result being a buffer. Crepe myrtles and liriope would also be relocated. Indicating Boundary Channel Drive, Mr. Brown said one side of the drive would not be touched, while the other would be filled in with some of the relocated mature trees. Mr. Brown used a rendering to illustrate the result of relocating the plant elements; that there would be a bosque of tilia coming along both sides along Route 110.
There would be pedestrian plazas at either end of Route 110 and also pedestrian bridges. Mr. Brown said that the landscaping was also designed to soften the impact of the bridges. A series of stepped-up landscaping and a rhythmic landscape of flowing cherries would complement the bridges. Large evergreens would create a formal line and the Nanches and Tuskegee crepe myrtles would be relocated into planters.
Mr. Lewis indicated the pedestrian elements and vehicular entries as well as the pedestrian bridges. Ashlar panels with the same finish as the Ashlar on the remote delivery facility would be used on the bridge, as well as ornamental fencing that is also used at the remote delivery facility. Ashlar would be used as the inset panel and the concrete would be articulated in a dressed stone effect. The concrete would be a colorized mix, matching concrete elements used at the Pentagon. V-grooves would break up the monolithic concrete façade.
Mr. Lewis said the south pedestrian access would be very similar. He indicated an accessible parking area with ramps and monumental stairs that would be adjacent to small plaza areas. Lighting in these areas would be provided by wall lighting within the walking areas, rather than ornamental pole lighting. The wall would made of cast in place concrete, with gentle curves and no segmented panels. These areas would also have a concrete mix between clear and terra cotta colored concrete, also similar to what was in use at the Pentagon. The north pedestrian plaza was designed in this manner also, so that from a distance, equal and symmetrical north and south plazas would comprise a framing element. The pedestrian bridges, Mr. Lewis said, would not only provide access to remote and accessible parking but also to an already installed pedestrian system on the water side. Mr. Lewis concluded the presentation by showing several renderings illustrating the overall final appearance.
The Chairman, with concurrence of the Commission, made several comments and suggestions. He said that that the designs that used cast in place concrete were more successful those that used false Ashlar and that a design study of these elements would be helpful. He cautioned against the use of colorized concrete and suggested that the use of natural material would ultimately hold its color better and avoid a bleached and spotty appearance. He encouraged the applicants to consider using ivy, such as the Virginia creeper to soften the wall. Finally, he addressed the axial view to the water. He was concerned that the trees would block the view and suggested that, rather than remove living trees, that any trees in that area that die not be replanted.
A motion to give the proposal final approval, contingent with the implementation of the suggestions stated, was made. A request for a materials panel erected on site with accompanying elevations and detailed drawings was added. The motion was carried unanimously.
4. CFA 19/JUN/03- 6, The Pentagon. Arlington, Virginia. Pentagon Central Courtyard. Replacement building for the Center Court Café. Concept.
Ms. Alg said that the next project was a request for concept approval for the Pentagon Central Courtyard Café. She said the proposed café would be an increase in size from the existing café, and introduced Michael Yopp, to present the project.
Mr. Yopp briefly described the site, a five acre, five-sided courtyard with an interior garden, used for ceremonial functions. It also contained a small restaurant, not open year around. The proposal was to upgrade the existing dining facility so that it could be utilized more as a ceremonial and reception area of the Pentagon. Showing various views of the site, Mr. Yopp explained the landscaping, the concrete apron and the circular area on which the current café stood would not change. The proposed café would be an unbranded restaurant, and therefore would have no signs. It would be open all year to serve the needs of the Pentagon staff and would also be used for ceremonies. Like the existing café, the proposed facility would be five-sided and would have a larger footprint. Mr. Yopp showed various plans and elevations to illustrate the proposed size and appearance of the café. Possible materials would include copper shingles, stone cladding and aluminum sliding doors.
The Commission agreed that increasing the footprint of the café would be appropriate. However, they felt that the design, as presented, had too many disparate elements and needed to be simplified and made more uniform. A motion was made to recommend that the design be further developed in the aforementioned direction before concept approval could be given. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.
5. CFA 19/JUN/03- 7, Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Main Section, Power Transfer Station. Addition. Design.
In his introduction, staff member Jose Martinez said that the proposed project would replace a heating and cooling system that was destroyed in a recent fire. He said that a small lean-to would be added to an existing building in the industrial area and introduced Peter Feibelman to present the project.
Mr. Feibelman explained that the existing building to which the addition would be added was currently a boiler plant. The plant originally used coal, which was underground and the proposed project would utilize the coal vault for the switch gear equipment. The height of the space would be
doubled to a total of sixteen feet, to accommodate both the equipment and the possibility of false explosions. Air would also be conditioned for the boiler plant in this location. Mr. Feibelman indicated that an upright addition would be added to the east side of the existing building. The same range of Flemish bond brick from the existing building would be used for the addition.
The proposal was well received and a motion to approved was made, seconded and carried unanimously.
D. Department of the Treasury / U.S. Mint
CFA 19/JUN/03- 8, Fifty States circulating / commemorative quarter program for 2004. Design for the Michigan state quarter. (Previous: CFA 15/MAY/03-2).
This project was postponed.
E. General Services Administration
1. CFA 19/JUN/03- 9, James Forrestal Building, Department of Energy. 1000 Independence Avenue, SW. Perimeter security barriers. Concept.
The applicants did not appear.
2. CFA 19/JUN/03- 10, Frances C. Perkins Building, Department of Labor.
200 Constitution Avenue, NW. Temporary perimeter security planters. Design.
The applicants did not appear.
3. CFA 19/JUN/03- 11, Judiciary Square Historic District. Bounded by 4th, G, and 5th streets and Indiana Avenue. Final Master Plan. (Previous CFA 15/MAY/03- 3: Information presentation).
Ms. Alg introduced Michael McGill from GSA, who introduced the project by recapping previous submissions for the benefit of the new members. He recalled the presentation, in July 2002, of the design for a parking garage on the square for the use of the D.C. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, and the comment by several members that since this was only one of several projects planned for the square, the Commission should see a master plan for the entire square before commenting on individual projects.
At that time the preparation of a master plan for the D. C. courts, owners of the property, was begun. Mr. McGill said that because of an expansion of the Family Court’s functions in the Moultrie Building, the Appeals Court would be moved into the Old City Hall, and the other buildings on Judiciary Square would be used more actively. The new master plan would be implemented gradually by the courts, as they got funding, to pursue their projects. With that introduction, Mr. McGill introduced Mike Kazan from Gruzen Samton to make the presentation.
Mr. Kazan said that in December 2002 a facilities master plan was delivered to the courts, focusing on their requirements. Ultimately, he said, the courts would occupy not only the Old City Hall, but the former juvenile court building, in addition to the three others they already occupied. With the realization that there was an enormous amount of activity occurring on the square, Mr. Kazan’s firm was asked to do a comprehensive master plan for the entire Judiciary Square area. He commented that the square had never materialized as a home for the judiciary, and at present was a combination of well-maintained historic areas and degraded open space. He said their goal was to reestablish the square as a historic entity for the courts and as a major public open space; he noted the large amount of development taking place in the area and the demand for such space. To accomplish this, he said they had developed a series of guidelines which could be implemented incrementally and which would establish controls over the three areas that would ultimately solve the problems of Judiciary Square; these areas were circulation, security, and landscaping. Using drawings, Mr. Kazan first discussed the circulation guidelines intended to solve the problems of providing secure servicing for the various buildings, parking, access to the three potential large parking structures, and pedestrian circulation, including handicapped accessibility. Secondly, the approach to security was discussed; it was based on the NCPC Urban Design and Security guidelines as applied to the various conditions on the square. On the south, along Indiana Avenue, where there was a considerable change in grade, and then turning the corner and going part way up 4th and 5th streets, there would be a plinth wall which would create the stand-off distance required; farther along 4th and 5th streets, a decorative, hardened fence, or a combination of plantings and street furniture would be used. The plinth wall also appeared on the south side of Indiana Avenue. Bollards would be used at building entrances.
A question was asked of Mr. Kazan concerning the use of a hardened fence rather than a plinth wall along 4th and 5th streets, which prompted the Chairman to ask if any of these elements had been designed yet. Mr. Kazan said they had not, that they would be designed later as they related to individual projects. To clarify the purpose of the submission, the Assistant Secretary said the Commission should look at this as an overall scheme as to how the square should be developed; the design of such elements as plinth walls, bollards, etc. and the materials of which they would be made, would be presented with the first projects that involved their use, and at that time the Commission would have a chance to review and comment on the designs and set standards for the entire square.
Mr. Kazan returned to the last of the guidelines, landscaping. He said they would concentrate on the perimeter, on providing a landscaped edge to the square, and he noted that the center was already beautifully landscaped because of the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. He then discussed the plans for narrowing the roadbeds of Indiana Avenue and E Street. Parking would be banned on both sides of E Street, improving its appearance, and the narrowing would provide for a more gracious, landscaped entrance to the court buildings as well as a wider sidewalk and stand-off distance. Indiana Avenue was termed a “difficult street” because of the parking problems, including double parking, and major vehicular-pedestrian conflicts. The proposal was to narrow the roadbed, widen the sidewalk on the north side and provide more green space and open space in front of the Old City Hall. He noted that this area would become a major pedestrian circulation space. Turning to the trees proposed, he said they would all be the same species, spaced 50 feet apart on the avenues and 35 feet on the streets.
Mr. Kazan was asked if they had already taken their plan to NCPC, to get their input on the planning issues. He said they had been meeting with all the agencies involved through a special technical committee at NCPC.
There were several other comments and questions from the members for Mr. Kazan. One concerned the large number of paths that would cut through the open space, breaking up the grass areas; it was suggested that he take another look at this in an effort to simplify and to reduce the number. Another member pointed out the large number of diversions from the north-south axis that was supposed to be strengthened. A cautionary note was sounded in regard to the proposed rows of trees–often the symmetry would be broken because of underground utilities which influenced the growth of the trees directly over them. A broader comment concerned the rapid development of the area, and the suggestion that the planners decide what direction they were moving in; for example, if they wanted to encourage mixed-use development, they should think again about placing a hardened fence right across the street from what might be developed as residential or retail.
Craig Floyd, chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, asked to speak. He said his organization was supportive of the idea of a master plan for Judiciary Square, and of the renovation and expansion of the court buildings, but he had some concerns. Some of these he expected would be worked out soon, working with NCPC and all those concerned; he mentioned the bollards proposed to be placed around the memorial and at the entrance to the new museum, and he said he was not sure they were necessary. Other concerns were the proposed bus drop-off on F Street which he thought was too remote, the selection of paving materials, the main entrance to the Court of Appeals being placed on E Street, and the orientation of the museum pavilions, facing E Street. He thought these design issues should be left to his architects. The Chairman suggested that a member of the Commission’s staff attend the working session with NCPC mentioned by Mr. Floyd and scheduled for the following week. This was agreeable with Mr. Floyd and with a member of the NCPC staff present.
The next speaker was Judge Annice M. Wagner. She said she and the other judges had been working with all parties concerned and would continue to do so. She reviewed the history of the court’s desire for expansion on the property north of the Old City Hall, the Law Enforcement Memorial’s desire to place their museum on part of that property, and the resulting legislation which spelled out very clearly what the conditions would be. In particular, she read from the part that described a no-build zone to assure that the north-south axis through the square would remain open north of the historic building. She said that from the beginning the courts had planned for an accessible and appropriate public entrance to the courthouse on the north side of the building, and she said this was essential if they were to use the building according to their plans. Her statement is attached to these minutes as Exhibit .
Several other comments were made by the members. One was that the museum architects should be sure that the pavilions not restrict the north-south axis between court buildings C and E; this would allow the planners to create a north-south axis from F Street directly south. The Chairman thought that was the intent, but he said it was a good point to reinforce. The other point was that Judiciary Square was one of the few green areas that was continuous and led directly to the Mall, so the north- south connection was critical and really part of the McMillan Commission’s idea of a system of parks.
The Chairman said he hoped this project could come back again at the next meeting, after further talks had taken place with NCPC, and he asked for a motion recommending another presentation that would consider the comments that had been made. The motion was made and seconded and approved unanimously.
(The agenda order was changed and the discussion for case O.G. 03-133, 901 30th Street, NW under the Old Georgetown Act occurred at this point.)
F. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department
1. CFA 19/JUN/03-12, Metropolitan Police Department Institute of Police Science (Training Academy). 4665 Blue Plains Drive, SW. Classroom addition and renovations. Design.
Mr. Martinez introduced the next two projects for the Police Department, starting with the classroom addition to the police Training Academy at Blue Plains Drive, SW. He introduced architect Suman Sorg of Sorg Architects to present the project.
Ms. Sorg used a site map to show the location of the proposed classroom building in relation to the other buildings on the academy property. For easy accessibility to the existing classroom facility, the addition would be placed close by, and its placement would create a triangular court.
She said that the proposed building would be one story and would include classrooms, an auditorium and lounge and conference space. The design concept would come from the existing building and a similar type of buff brick would be used. The texture of the brick would be slightly rougher than that used in the existing building. The glazing would consist of etched or nonetched glass, also similar in style to the glass in the existing building. The idea was to allow light into the glazed spaces, but not necessarily full visibility. Ms. Sorg also pointed out the mullions, which would be a darker color.
The Commission was pleased with the design and commended Ms. Sorg on her innovative use of inexpensive materials to create playful designs. The Commission agreed that the proposed classroom would be appropriate and well executed and approved it unanimously.
2. CFA 19/JUN/03- 13, Metropolitan Police Department Multi-function Facility. 2175 West Virginia Avenue, NE. New building. Concept.
Mr. Martinez said that the second project for the Police Department, located at New York and West Virginia Avenues, would be a multi-functional facility, and turned the presentation over to Suman Sorg.
Once again, Mr. Sorg oriented the Commission by showing the site of the proposed building in the context of the neighborhood. She said the building would have two stories and basement, and would include areas for auto repair and maintenance, storage and a print shop. Per her client’s directive, the building would have to be inexpensive with not more than ten percent used for windows. It was originally to have three stories, but for budgetary reasons, was reduced to two stories.
Ms. Sorg said that the building would essentially be a metal-clad building. Indicating the front elevation, she said that there would be eight inch set-backs between the different metal panels. The panels will be different colors, including blue, red, white and gray, though as yet there was no decision on which shade of red would be used, since a satisfactory sample from the manufacturer had not yet been found. The rear would be comprised of split face block and a metal panel would accent the loading dock. The building would be L-shaped to accommodate a trailer currently on the site, which will be retained. There may eventually be a penthouse on the roof.
The Commission praised the design and again commended Ms. Sorg for creating such a design with limited resources. They said that the eight inch set-back between the metal panels would be very effective in adding dimension, and suggested a greater set-back could enhance the effect even further. They emphasized the importance of choosing panels that will hold their color over time.
A motion made to approve the design as presented was seconded and carried unanimously.
G. District of Columbia Office of Property Management
CFA 19/JUN/03- 14, New Packer Storage Facility (garage for municipal trash collection trucks). 1500 West Virginia Avenue, NE. Design.
Mr. Lindstrom began by identifying a “packer” as the trade name for a municipal refuse or trash truck. He said that the current facility for storing packers consisted of surface parking, and that the proposed facility would enclose the packers and have three levels, including rooftop parking for employees. The neighbors, he said, were very supportive of the project. Mr. Lindstrom then introduced Austin Spriggs, the project architect.
Mr. Spriggs said that the proposed storage facility would be located at the West Virginia campus, the main facility where the District repairs vehicles. The location would be along West Virginia Avenue, extending from Fenwick Street to 15th Street. The packers would be parked on the first and second levels, after being cleaned at a truck-wash facility. Mr. Spriggs used boards to indicate the route by which the trucks would proceed from the wash to the storage facility. The second level, he said, would also contain office space, locker rooms and other facilities for the staff. The roof would be used for employee parking. Ramps would provide vehicular access to all three levels.
The building would be 465 feet long, and its main façade would be along West Virginia Avenue. The idea, Mr. Spriggs said, was to create an open, transparent building where the packers could be seen traversing the ramp and in their parking spaces. The materials would be dark brick, similar to the brick already on the site, precast concrete, which would enclose the rooftop parking and an accented band of precast concrete, to accent the ramp to the second floor. There would also be an accented band between the second and first floors at the south end of the building. Indicating the rear elevation, Mr. Spriggs said that the ramp would traverse from grade up to the roof, for 41 feet. It would be constructed of poured in place concrete along the parapet with continuous louvers that would go all the way up to the roof, punctuated with circular windows and a standing seam metal roof above it. Gray glass would be used on the western elevation and metal panels above the windows would be in tan earth tones. Moving to the elevations, Mr. Spriggs said that the Fenwick Street elevation would have strip windows at the top of the first and second floors, recalling the design motif on the West Virginia Avenue side and the 15th Street elevation would be blank masonry.
The Commission had concerns about the standing seam metal roof which would cover a portion of the ramp from the second level to the roof deck, on the rear elevation. When asked if such a roof was really necessary, Mr. Spriggs said that the roof was intended as a safety measure, to prevent heavy snow accumulation. The ramp would have a 40 foot height at that point, and having a roof on that, as opposed to the level ground of the roof deck, would make the ramp feel safer and less foreboding. The Commission felt that the use of heat tracing would be just as effective in dealing with snow accumulation, and more cost effective. They felt that the roof on the ramp would not only be an unnecessary expense, but would also unnecessarily complicate the design.
Overall the Commission was favorable towards the design, and suggested that removal of the ramp roof would simplify it. With this modification, the design was approved.
H. District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
1. Old Georgetown Act
a. O.G. 03-133, 901 30th Street, NW, New mixed-use building. Revised concept. (Last seen: CFA 22 April 2003).
Mr. Martinez gave brief introductory remarks before introducing architect Arthur Cotton Moore to present the revised concept to the proposed mixed building at 901 30th Street NW. After showing the members the site, Mr. Martinez said that the development would include three areas, the building
being presented, also known as the north building, the Embassy of Sweden and the development of the GSA coal house as a park with an underground parking structure. Mr. Martinez circulated photographs of the site, and alerted the members to the report of the Old Georgetown Board about this project. He recalled to the Commission the action they took when they last reviewed the project in April; that the north building be redesigned or further studied following the recommendation of the Board. Since then, the Board has reviewed the revised design for the building twice, and were satisfied with the direction the design was taking. At their meeting on 5 June, Mr. Martinez said, the Board gave a general approval with a recommendation to further study the articulation of the base and the proposed columns.
Mr. Moore told the Commission that the proposed development was a private commercial development, but with many public benefits. It would bring the Swedish Embassy to the area, for one, and would also create four new park areas. The development would resolve issues with the connection between Washington Harbor and the bridge and walkway to the Kennedy Center. A linear park would be created along Rock Creek and the GSA coal house, currently unused and unloved, would be demolished in favor of a park. 30th Street would be reinvented as tree-lined, mostly pedestrian street with access to the river. A detailed landscape plan for the whole development, Mr. Moore indicated, would come later.
Moving on to the north building, Mr. Moore said that the building would serve utilitarian functions for the embassy, allowing the embassy to have such a pristine design. Functions housed in the north building would include loading docks, parking entrance and plant mechanical equipment for both buildings. He briefly highlighted some of the elements of the building, including solar shades to protect the glass, the cantilever space over the loading dock and the cantilevered band. This band would respond to a similar element on the embassy building, and would unify the two buildings. On the west elevation, where the entrance would be, the floors step in to allow for more shading. Indicating a wall section, Mr. Moore said that this would be a limestone building.
Mr. Moore then showed the Commission options for the west elevation, three for the entrance and four for the columns. For the entrance, Mr. Moore said that his preference was for Option 1. The entrance would be located within the vestibule, and would be accessible by either stairs or ramps. The stairs would be curved at the front, and the ramps would flank the entrance, and curve around on each side from the street to the door. There would be plantings around the ramps to create a sort of garden entrance. The curvilinear aspect of the entrance would contrast with the rectilinear nature of the building. The second option, Mr. Moore said, was a suggestion of the Board. This option would bring the entrance closer to the edge of the building and move the ramps and stairs to the inside. As a compromise, Mr. Moore developed a third option, which would move the ramp to the side, and retain the stairs at the front, for a more symmetrical façade, which the Board thought was fine. For the columns, the choices were Option A, which were tapered columns, Option B, with multiple columns, Option C which were Y-shaped columns and option D, which were no columns at all. Mr. Moore felt that it would be preferable to have columns for structural purposes, and that he was more partial to Option A. He concluded, however, by saying that any combination of options could be implemented.
The Chairman commended Mr. Moore and his clients for their efforts towards the public aspects of the development, including the park areas and the proposed work on 30th Street. He also complimented Mr. Moore on the ways in which his design evolved over time, particularly with moving the entrance. He said that he was prepared to support approval for the design using Option 1 for the entrance and option A for the columns, and then he invited comments from the members.
The members were in agreement with the Chairman. Ms. Nelson asked if the oak wood soffits, briefly alluded to Mr. Moore in his presentation, were still part of the design. Mr. Moore said that he would like them to be, but that the Board was not partial to them. He explained that the idea behind the soffits was as a nod to the laminated and illuminated wood elements proposed for the Swedish embassy. Asked where the soffit would have been on the north building, Mr. Moore indicated its location and lighting, which the members found agreeable. The Chairman suggested that perhaps a material other than wood which would be easier to maintain might be feasible.
Ms. Diamonstein-Spielvogel asked about the height of the mechanical elements on the roof, and Mr. Moore measured with a scale and answered that the height would be twelve feet. Ms. Diamonstein- Spielvogel asked if the height could be reduced, or if the mechanical elements could be better integrated with the building. Mr. Moore replied that the mechanical elements would be set back twenty feet on all sides, reducing their visibility from the street. He showed elevations and a roof plan to illustrate the setback. When Ms. Nelson mentioned her concern about the way the columns would taper, she was assured that the concept for the design of the columns was still in an early phase, and that they are being developed.
A motion was made and seconded that the concept approval be given to the design as presented and was carried unanimously.
After the vote, Mr. Martinez said that the Board asked that when the project was next reviewed for concept design development, it include both this building and the Swedish embassy, as well as the landscape plan. Mr. Capoccia had two additional questions; first, were any perimeter security measures being considered and second, how will the loading dock door be dealt with? Mr. Moore said that one of the reasons why the Option 1 entrance was preferred was because it would provide a space for a vehicular security office, as well as “voluminous space" to keep trucks inside with the loading door down most of the time. There were also plans for retractable bollards on 30th Street before reaching the Swedish Chancery and controlled by either the security office or the embassy.
These would allow vehicles such as limousines to drop people off for public events but otherwise keep the section of the street pedestrian and closed to vehicular traffic.
b. Appendix I.
Mr. Martinez said that there were minimal changes to the appendix. He highlighted case O.G. 03-115, the Volta Park Pool at the Georgetown Recreation Center. This case came to the Commission directly from the District permits office, he said. The Old Georgetown Board reviewed the design three times and were satisfied with the direction the design was taking. The members took the opportunity to commend both the Commission staff and the Old Georgetown Board for the care taken with cases on the appendices. New members were assured that cases on the appendices, not necessarily reviewed by the full Commission, were given a great amount of consideration by the staff and the Board.
A motion made to approve the Old Georgetown appendix was seconded and carried unanimously.
(The Shipstead-Luce appendix was reviewed prior to the presentation for the American Pharmacists Association.)
2. Shipstead-Luce Act
a. S.L. 03- 106, American Pharmacists Association. 2215 Constitution Avenue, NW. Rear addition. Revised/New concept. (Previous: CFA 18 APR 02- 5).
Graham Davidson began his presentation of his proposal for an addition to the American Pharmacists Association with a brief history of the original John Russell Pope building. He then discussed the context of the building on Constitution Avenue as part of a row of buildings along Mall including the Department of the Interior South building, the Federal Reserve Building and the National Academy of Sciences. To the south was the Lincoln Memorial; to the north, the Department of State. The proposed building would be aligned with the lower wall of the State Department building and would reinforce the axis of 23rd Street toward the Lincoln Memorial.
After discussing these contextual influences, Mr. Davidson outlined previous designs that had been proposed for the rear addition and the changes that had been made to properly mediate the relationship between the original building and the proposed addition according to recommendations of the Commission and the Historic Preservation Review Board. The originally proposed building would have been symmetrical both with respect to the north-south axis as well as the east-west axis. In the new design he presented, the symmetry was maintained only along the north-south axis and the top floor was pushed back to C Street so that the mass of the buildings would step back up the hill. The roof was modified to encapsulate the penthouse in a real roof form so that it would be less like an office building downtown and more like an institutional building. From Constitution Avenue the proposed addition would not be visible above the existing building and would not be very visible above the wings. Mr. Davidson showed how the cornice line would pull free of the addition behind so that the addition would be much less apparent from Constitution Avenue. The same effect would occur in the view from 23rd Street. Mr. Davidson also explained how, after receiving concept approval from the Commission, the proposed building was moved increasingly away from the back wall of the original building so that the reveal increased from five feet at the time of the concept approval to fifteen or twenty feet.
Mr. Davidson observed that the facade of the proposed addition would have two functions – to serve as a backdrop for the Mall and as a backdrop for the existing building. He proposed a very regular and horizontal facade with glass which would be similar to the Federal Reserve Bank. The material would be a somewhat darker, somewhat browner limestone which would set the building back behind the white marble original as had been done with an addition to DAR Constitution Hall nearby.
Mr. Davidson concluded by summarizing the changes from the original proposal to the one being presented and commented that he believed the transition between the historic structure and the proposed structure had been much improved.
Ms. Nelson asked about the corners in the drawings and Mr. Davison explained that at each end there was a very subtle bay that would come out. Ms. Zimmerman asked about entrances in light of the State Department’s closure of C Street. Mr. Davidson said that the front steps would continue to serve as the ceremonial entrance and that the main entrance would be off of 22nd Street at the point where the mass of the building would come closest to the street. The entrance on 22nd Street would provide equal access to the core of the office building and to the ceremonial spaces within the original building. He added that the original plan had been to have the entrance on C Street in the middle so that there would be a clear progression through the building but, since that would not be possible, he had tried to work the revised entrance with the revised massing.
The Chairman complemented Mr. Davidson on his design and his patience. He recommended that the windows be reduced slightly as they appeared large when compared to the more solid facades of adjacent buildings. The Chairman then called for a motion for approval which carried.
(Ms. Diamonstein-Spielvogel left the meeting during the preceding discussion)
b. S.L. 03- 107, Republic Square. 25 Massachusetts Avenue and 660 North Capitol Street, NW. Two new nine-story office buildings. Concept.
Ms. Alg introduced Marshall Purnell to present a concept proposal for two new office buildings. One building would have its entrance located on Massachusetts Avenue and the other on North Capitol Street. G Street would also border the site but would be used primarily for service. Mr. Purnell introduced his client, Steve Grigg of Republic Properties and began by discussing the Republic Square site.
Mr. Purnell explained that the site was irregular and that the two new buildings would complete the composition of the area which included the National Guard building, the Postal Museum, the General Printing Office and the Gale School. The building that would sit on North Capitol Street was limited by a 90-foot height restriction and the other by a 120-foot height restriction. The first would be 90 feet, eight stories, and the other 108 feet, 9 stories. On Massachusetts Avenue the proposed building would be aligned in both directions with the National Guard building. On G Street, Mr. Purnell said that he had considered continuing the facade of the proposed building but felt that with the lengthy facade of the GPO it would be more appropriate to break the facade of the proposed building and create a the openness of a courtyard. Even though it would be used primarily for service, breaking the massing of the facade would allow light and air into what would otherwise be a foreboding area. Mr. Purnell continued that there would be nearly 600 cars using the on-site parking and that it made more sense to break up the access with a ramp on G Street and a ramp off Massachusetts Avenue.
Mr. Purnell then turned to his model and continued to discuss the design of the buildings. He began with the turret at the northwest corner of the Massachusetts Avenue building. He explained that such a turret was typical in Washington as a way to terminate a corner, especially if the corner was an acute angle; it would serve as a hinge and, at the same time, to express the importance of the elevation. Where the Massachusetts Avenue building would come up against the National Guard building Mr. Purnell observed that the wall of the National Guard Building had windows to the alley which implied that the designers of that building had never intended a building right up against it. At the same time, he said, the wall was not celebrated and he wanted to cover it. The cornice line of the Massachusetts Avenue building would continue that of the National Guard Building. As for the elevation on North Capitol Street, Mr. Purnell explained there would be no need to express the end ofthe building as with the turret on the northwest end of the Massachusetts Avenue building because the building would simply continue the facade along the street. There would be a mid entrance to both buildings.
In response to a question about the line of the building on North Capitol Street Mr. Purnell explained that the new building would be in line with the adjacent National Guard building, at the property line. The Chairman asked if it would be possible to be slightly back of the line of the National Guard building in deference and Mr. Purnell said that he would consider it.
In response to a question regarding why he chose to separate the site into two buildings rather than continue to create the courtyard with one building, Mr. Purnell explained that he had begun with one building. A single building would be 550,000 square feet whereas as it was the larger building would be 342,000 square feet and the other 242,000 square feet. Not only would the development be more marketable divided in such a way but it would allow for both buildings to be built at the same time or for one building to be built later. Mr. Purnell continued that to create a continuous elevation along G Street across from the longer and taller GPO would create a sort of canyon in between. He said that when the idea was to have one building, the courtyard area was glassed in.
Mr. Purnell then discussed materials for the building. He said that they were considering a granite base or water table around the building with a lot of beige tones. He showed a sample of a Coal Springs granite material called Rockville Beige which had a beige overtone to what would otherwise be a gray granite. The columns would be brick and the infill panels would be limestone at the lower levels and the very end conditions and precast concrete in the upper areas in the same tone as the limestone. In response to a question, Mr. Purnell said that they would not be using curved glass and that the glass would have a small shading coefficient. He added that the metal in the building in terms of the mullions would be the green color of the sample he showed and at a higher level a lighter green which he also displayed. He pointed out that the palette would be similar to Market Square. The awnings would be fabric and a similar green to what would be used for the metalwork at that level.
The Chairman stated that the Commission was being asked for approval of the concept being presented and that there would be other reviews as the design proceeded. He then commented on the building, saying that there was a lot of glass and that in many ways the building wanted to be more solid, like the buildings nearby. He recommended additional mullioning within the normal five-foot grids of office. He said that breaking down the scale of the windows, particularly on the curve, would give the building more solidity. A Commission member did not agree with the Chairman’s assessment.
It was observed that the penthouses appeared to be at different heights and Mr. Purnell explained that the problem was with the way the model was built. He said that, while no one wanted to see a lot of penthouse, mechanical engineers often wanted every inch of the 18 feet, six inch penthouse allowed by zoning. He pointed out that more of the penthouse appeared visible when looking at a bird’s eye view on a model but that he was still concerned about the visibility of the penthouse because of the views that would be available of the building from some distance away. He said that he was working on reducing the size of the penthouse and assured the Commission that it would not get larger. Mr. Grigg explained that the penthouse requirements were being driven by a number of factors such as the plan to use a central air handling system which would include biological hazard safety. He said, though, that they would work to keep any equipment as shielded as possible.
The Chairman called for a motion and it was moved to approve the concept. The Chairman recommended that Mr. Purnell further consider the setback and the curve as the design progressed. The Chairman thanked Mr. Purnell and the concept was approved.
Ms. Alg requested staff delegation for two items on the appendix. These were case S.L. 03-104, a sign for the American Pharmacists Association and case S.L. 03-110, the residence at 1911 Park Road, NW. Ms. Alg said that she would need one additional drawing from the American Pharmacists Association for adequate review. As to the residence, Ms. Alg said staff was working with the applicant to develop a functional design. The Chairman said that the Commission would delegate these two items to the staff. As a follow-up to the Shipstead-Luce appendix item discussed at the May meeting, the placement of roof antennas by Cingular Wireless, Ms. Alg said that staff has worked with Cingular to develop their proposal, and the Chairman added that Cingular has made great effort to develop a solution that would satisfy the Commission.
The final item highlighted by Ms. Alg was case S.L. 03-87, a residence at 2800 Chesterfield Place, NW. She said that there were minor changes to the design that was approved in concept, and that the ANC and the neighbors continued to have concerns about zoning issues, which they may wish to discuss at the Commission’s discretion. The Chairman stated that zoning matters should be resolved independent of the Commission, and Ms. Alg referred to the recommendation that modifications to the design must be submitted for consideration.
A motion made to approve the Shipstead-Luce appendix was seconded and carried unanimously.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:53 p.m.
Charles H. Atherton Secretary