The meeting was convened at 10:00 a.m. in the Commission’s offices in the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.
Hon. David M. Childs, Chairman
Hon. Pamela Nelson
Hon. Witold Rybczynski
Hon. Elyn Zimmerman
Mr. Frederick J. Lindstrom, Acting Chairman
Ms. Kristina Alg
Ms. Sue Kohler
Mr. José Martínez
Ms. Susan Raposa
National Capital Planning Commission staff present:
Mr. David Hamilton
Ms. Nancy Witherell
A. Approval of minutes of the 17 June meeting. The minutes were not ready because of a long delay in receipt of the transcript and will be e-mailed before the September meeting and approved at that meeting.
B. Dates of the next meeting, approved as:
21 September (Tuesday)
C. Report on the Union Station garage expansion project’s revised sample material panel. Photos of both the previous and current screening material were shown, and the Chairman reported on his inspection the previous day in sunny weather. He thought, as had everyone else, that the long west facade really did need some work, and he thought the screening material would be an interesting way of improving its appearance. He thought the new sample, as compared to the old, was brighter and more cheerful, but still a “sort of a chain-link-fence kind of thing.” He said he hoped it would work and thought it would. On the south facade, however, he thought that the brutalism design, characteristic of its time, complemented the strength and size of the station building better than the delicate screening material. The Acting Secretary commented that the original intent was just to wrap it around the first bay to accommodate a large sign, but the Planning Commission had requested that they carry it all the way. The Chairman did not think this was really a planning issue, and if necessary it could be brought up when the full Commission was present, but his recommendation would be that they go ahead with the second screening pattern on the west and north facades but leave the south facade alone. Mrs. Nelson agreed, saying that she had always felt it unnecessary to cover that facade, which was honest in its expression and had stood the test of time.
Before beginning with the submissions, the Chairman read the following letter sent to the Commission members by recently-retired Secretary Charles Atherton: (Will be attached)
Mr. Childs noted also that Mr. Atherton had thanked him for the two-volume biography of Daniel Burnham by Charles Moore that the members had given him, saying that he had been most pleased to receive it.
The Acting Secretary took this time to report that the announcement for the Secretary’s position had been posted, and also to announce the resignation of a member of the staff, John Lukavic, the Administrative Assistant, after four years with the Commission. He reported that Mr. Lukavic was leaving to pursue a doctorate in anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. The Chairman thanked Mr. Lukavic for his work and wished him success in his endeavor.
II. SUBMISSIONS AND REVIEWS
A. National Children’s Museum/L’Enfant Plaza
10th Street Promenade, SW. Concept area development plan for the National Children’s Museum. Informational presentation. Staff member Kristina Alg said this presentation would be for information only and would not require any action by the Commission. She introduced architect Fred Clark from Caesar Pelli and Associates in New York. Mr. Clark said they had been working for about three months with the JBG Group on the initial master plan phase of this project. He made it clear that they were not yet at the architectural level and just wanted to get the Commission’s input on anything to do with placement, organization, and even the expression of the buildings. He said it was a difficult assignment, especially because the complex of buildings had been the work of the I.M. Pei firm, although the designer had not been Mr. Pei, but Araldo Cossuta, a partner in the firm at the time. He said their assignment had been to rethink, in 21st century terms, the urban design theory of the 1960s and 70s.
Mr. Clark said that to date, the most significant part of their effort had been to look for opportunities within what was a very firmly organized complex. The second issue was to test the feasibility as well as the size of the various components of the program; he noted that this was really an activity for the developer, rather than for the architect. The third task was to see what was the most appropriate and most handsome placement of the potential new buildings within the complex. He observed that there was actually an opportunity to place more new square footage in the complex than one would think. Even with their current plans, they would not be up to the maximum FAR permitted.
Mr. Clark then began a Powerpoint presentation to show their analysis of the site and its potential for new development. In the slides shown, he noted that L’Enfant Plaza was very strategically placed within the city; it provided an opportunity, through its presence on the L’Enfant Promenade, to extend the city through to the Southwest Waterfront, and could potentially provide linkages back to the Mall and the Smithsonian. He noted that although its geometry was symmetrical and static, it occupied a place that because of some diagonal relationships, “could find its way back into the greater geometry of Washington.” For orientation, he pointed out the north and south office buildings and the somewhat taller east office building with hotel space on the upper floor, all of which framed the plaza with its entrance to the shopping center below, which he noted was not well-used; on the other side of the Promenade was the Postal Service Building, facing the East Building. He pointed out that the Promenade and the plaza were many feet above actual street level. In terms of building possibilities, he said that the plaza itself offered one, and there were also two air-rights sites, one to the north and one to the south. At the northeast corner of the site was a very heavily-used Metro station.
Mr. Clark then discussed further the view connections to the rest of the city, especially notable from the upper floors of the existing buildings, and how they might be enhanced with any new construction. He also mentioned nearby Maryland Avenue, now a railroad right-of- way, but possibly a street again in the future, and noted that the axis of their proposed new building in the center of the plaza roughly paralleled it; like Maryland Avenue, it, too, terminated at the Capitol. These abstract considerations, plus the practical considerations, had led them to consider every possible configuration for the new building within the plaza space, some orthogonal to the existing buildings and some diagonal.
Before discussing the new plaza building, Mr. Clark commented on the JGB Company’s desire to create a mix of uses on the site. He felt that one of the deadening effects of the present development was that it was primarily dedicated to office use, and he said that the Children’s Museum would bring a great deal of life, as would a new layer of retail at the plaza level, connected to the Metro level by an enclosed galleria. Of the two new air-rights buildings planned for the north and south of the east building, the north one, nearest the Metro, would be for offices and the south for residential use, adding another kind of use to the plaza.
Below grade, at the promenade level, would be the majority of the Children’s Museum space; although it had not made a good retail space, it would be a very good museum space. To get people down there, there had to be an entrance at the plaza level, and it had to have a real presence, to be an icon, as Mr. Clark termed it. He showed drawings of the proposed new building in the center of the plaza, which at this point was a building with curved sides, placed diagonally in the space in roughly the same orientation as Maryland Avenue. Attached to the building, near the northwest corner of the plaza, was an all glass circular structure which would provide this iconic character and serve to contain the stairs down to the museum. By placing the icon here, it would be oriented toward the Mall and the Smithsonian, which Mr. Clark thought was very important.
Commenting on the diagonal placement of the building, he said they had come to the conclusion that it should be outside the static geometry of the rest of the plaza, using the surroundings as a setting for the “more adventuresome, more dynamic building.” He said the diagonal placement served many purposes: it allowed the Children’s Museum to have its own powerful, iconic entrance while the office building section had its own discrete entrance, although both could join together where necessary. Also, a diagonal building placement would allow the existing buildings to have views, as well as light and air, that they might not have if the building had an orthogonal orientation. The building would have ten floors and be 130 feet high, the same as the east building, and the two air rights buildings would have eight floors and be about 115 feet high. He said the existing north and south buildings were 90 feet high.
The Chairman thanked Mr. Clark for his presentation, and then acknowledged the presence of new member Witold Rybcynzski, who had arrived late because his train had been delayed. Turning again to Mr. Clark, he commented that the new development offered not only a chance to add more usable space but to make something richer and better of a space that was presently “very ascetic and quite dull”. He then commented on another building in the general area–the Forrestal Building–which was supposed to be a gateway connecting the Mall with the Southwest Waterfront area but was not open enough and only increased the blocking-off effect. He said he was delighted to see the emphasis on mixed-use in L’Enfant Plaza, and he found the concept of distorting the rectilinear geometry by the diagonal insertion of a curved-wall building an interesting concept; the important thing was to be sure that it did not look like it had been stuffed in with not enough room around it. He wondered if there was any possibility of including a couple of residential floors at the top, with setbacks, balconies, etc. to add some interest to the form of the building, particularly in the evening when the lights were on. He asked what FAR the project had been developed to, and Mr. Ben Jacobs from JGB introduced himself and said he would like their land-use counsel, Richard Nettler, to speak to that. Mr. Nettler reviewed briefly the various zoning regulations that had been applied to the site since its initial development, and then, in answer to the Chairman’s questions, said the FAR for the existing development was about 6.5; the new development as now planned would be about 9, with 10 being the maximum allowed. Mr. Childs recalled some of the early history of the development, noting especially the great fountain that had been in the middle of the plaza, and saying that its loss had deprived the plaza of the essential focal point of brightness and exuberance it needed. He then asked the other members for their comments, beginning with Mr. Rybczynski.
Mr. Rybczynski said the proposal was a bold and unorthodox move, and he needed to be convinced as he was a conservative about such things. He thought that if there really was a view of the Washington Monument from the northwest corner(the location of the Children’s Museum icon) he might be convinced, and even if there was, he was not sure it would really be a key corner as far as the whole project was concerned. He said that if the whole building were the Children’s Museum, the icon, he would feel more comfortable with an unusual design, but since it was to be just an office building, like the others, he wondered if there should not be further exploration of doing the orthodox thing–closing in the plaza with a bar building.
Mr. Clark then commented on Mr. Rybczynski’s observations. He said first that a huge amount of study had gone into this project, and they had looked at every possible orthogonal and diagonal location; he said it would be helpful for the Commission to see these studies, and that would indeed happen at the proper time. After all this investigation, it had seemed very important to them that the piece that signified the Children’s Museum have a direct relationship to the Mall and to the Smithsonian, and if they moved it, either to an internal location or to the south, it just didn’t have the presence it needed, especially considering that it would never be a very large piece. He noted, too, that the people who would be coming to the Children’s Museum would also be coming to the Mall, and he thought the strong connection between the L’Enfant Promenade and the Mall was something that should be paid attention to.
The connection to the Mall had led to the idea of placing the center office building on a diagonal. He said that after much study, they had determined that an orthogonally-placed building would do damage to the other buildings on the plaza, particularly to the hotel. The diagonal placement would open up vistas, vistas that would not be static; he said that, frankly, what they were trying to do was to bring some dynamism to what was a very static, dead composition. He urged that the form of the building as seen in the drawings and in the model be thought of purely as a placeholder. He said the museum icon piece, probably two to three stories in height, could have an effect on the form and character of the office building, and the two would have to be designed together, with a serious attempt made to have the office building be a supporting figure to the Children’s Museum icon.
Mrs. Nelson spoke next. She said her feeling about the area as it existed was that it was dead because of the emphasis on underground activity, not because of the buildings. She thought the new galleria needed to be as active as possible and no more retail should be put underground. She observed that the plaza would effectively be divided in half by the new building–one for the visitors to the Children’s Museum and one for the office people, and that would be one way to cut down on the size. She felt that the Museum was really getting “shoved downstairs”, and shethought that the more of it that could be brought up into the light the better; for example, a tree house or a roof garden would enliven it. Mr. Clark said that although all of it had been underground when they first came onto the project, it had been changed, and he showed a drawing of the plaza plan, noting the large space that would be occupied by the Museum. He said that space was actually a double-height space, joining the lower level, and would be full of things such as mobiles and hanging objects. He noted, too, that the retail that had the larger part of its square footage on the promenade level would also be brought up to the plaza level.
The Chairman returned to the question of the form of the new building, and Mr.
Rybczynski’s comments. He said it was somewhat like a historic preservation problem–do you want this addition to be clearly different or do you want it to be more of the same. He thought it was a question of scale, and it could be done if the new building was made more object-like and clearly separated from the rest of the composition, but it could go the other way as well, and he was glad that Mr. Rybczynski had raised the question. There was further discussion about the possibilities, with Mrs. Nelson wondering if the diagonal could go the other way, and Mr. Rybczynski commenting that the simpler the building was, the more chance there was for the Children’s Museum to really be something.
The Chairman told Mr. Clark that the dialogue had been very helpful, and that he might consider coming back in the near future, even before the next official step, to discuss the issues further. He also said how pleased he was to know that the Children’s Museum was going to find a proper home at last.
B. General Services Administration
CFA 15/JUL/04-2, E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse, Constitution Avenue and 3rd Street, NW. Perimeter security barriers. Revised design. Final. The Acting Secretary recalled that the Commission had approved the perimeter security in March, but the Planning Commission did not like the design for the rotunda area, which used a series of low walls and bollards, and disapproved it. He said a new design had been developed and asked Frank Miles from GSA to begin the presentation.
Mr. Miles said their concern and that of the architect was to make the security elements as transparent as possible, and after extended discussions with NCPC, he thought they had arrived at a much better scheme that would keep it as open as possible. He noted that the security level for this courthouse was high, as opposed to medium for probably every other courthouse in the nation. The goal was to have a 50-foot setback if possible, an impossible feat in an urban situation like this one. After discussion with the Federal Protective Service and the U.S. Marshals, they arrived at an agreement whereby they could move the bollards out to the curb along Constitution Avenue, repeating the alternate post and rail and typical bollard pattern used on 3rd Street, with the substitution of 12 x 4 foot planting beds for the trees seen on 3rd Street. The illuminated metal bollards placed in an inverted arc at the corner of 3rd and Constitution would remain. They would be painted the same grey as the typical Washington light standards. The other bollards, to be used on both 3rd and Constitution, would be the special Michael Graves design, except that they had decided to make the post and rail system a darker color to break up the monotony. Mrs. Nelson objected to this, feeling that it created an annoying red-light, green-light effect; she thought the alternate typical bollard and post-and rail version provided enough variety. Mr. Rybczynski commented that the bollard design should reflect the architecture of the building; he did not think all bollards had to look alike.
The Chairman noted that the Commission did not have a quorum, but he said they expected to have one after lunch, when they would talk about this project for an actual vote; at that time they would say that they saw the reasonableness in having a different kind and color of bollard at the corner because of its different nature, but they thought the other bollards should all be the same color, and that the design should be distinctly related to the architecture. With those comments, a final approval would be granted.
C. District Department of Transportation (DdoT)
CFA 15/JUL/04-3, Anacostia Access Study near-term improvements, multiple sites along the South Capitol Street corridor in the Poplar Point area of Anacostia. Pedestrian, bicycle and traffic safety improvements, and streetscape enhancements. Concept. Ms. Alg said this submission consisted of a large number of small projects, and the staff had questioned whether they should review it or bring it before the Commission. As there would be a tremendous amount of time and money invested in the South Capitol Corridor in the near future, it was decided the Commission should see it. She asked Kathleen Penny from DDoT to make the presentation.
Ms. Penney said her agency’s report on this project had been submitted to Congress and accepted, so they were proceeding with some traffic analysis and preliminary design work that they could accomplish with their existing funding before getting into the NEPA stage in the fall. These would be low-cost, high-benefit improvements such as lighting and pedestrian crosswalks, and things that could be used interchangeably with other parts of the city, or could be salvaged and reused when the entire boulevard was reconstructed in the coming years.
I-395 pedestrian underpass: Ms. Penney said this was a poorly-lit area frequently used by homeless people with sidewalks in disrepair and poorly aligned. These defects would be addressed so that it would be safe and accessible, with landscaping added to improve the appearance.
Best Western Hotel just south of I-395: Pedestrians were finding it hard to get to the Capitol and the Mall from this location, and as more development occurred in the South Capitol St. corridor and along M Street, more tourist traffic was expected. Therefore, way-finding and interpretive signs would be placed in that area to improve the situation.
South Capitol and I Street: Ms. Penney said this was the first intersection after coming off I-395 and entering the city grid pattern. They were focusing on pedestrian safety and would add improved pedestrian crosswalk striping, signs and count-down pedestrian signals. She said it was a critical area because of a recreation center on the west side and a McDonald’s on the east, and it was one of the highest pedestrian fatality locations in the city.
South Capitol and O Street bridge abutment: These improvements would make a big difference in pedestrian, bicycle, and handicap access in the area, as well as improve the quality and appearance of the lighting. Cobra-head light standards in the middle of the sidewalk would be replaced by a Washington globe-type lighting fastened to the bridge approach, clearing the sidewalk of a hazardous obstruction.
Ms. Penney mentioned briefly similar improvements along Firth Sterling Avenue, the location of the light-rail demonstration project, and noted that there would be a light-rail station at the Barry Farm location as well as one at the Anacostia Metro station. Ms. Alg said the Commission would see the rail station design sometime in the fall.
The Chairman suggested that there would be a number of these small projects coming in which could be delegated to the staff but the Commission would want to see the important elements, for example, the rail station design. Ms. Penney said they would be working on architectural standards for the whole Anacostia project and would bring those to the Commission. She had two more specific projects to present:
Firth Sterling Avenue and Suitland Parkway intersection: Ms. Penney said this was one of the highest accident locations in the city. It was set up with only cars in mind, and was heavily used because it was between Barry Farm and the Anacostia Metro Station. Physical changes had to be made to the intersection itself, and high-visibility crosswalks with count-down pedestrian signals needed to be added, as well as better lighting.
Improvement in bicycle access throughout the area: Bicycle paths, overgrown and broken up, would be reestablished, and way-finding signs would be added. When the South Capitol Bridge rehabilitation began in the fall or winter, sidewalks on the bridge would be widened to improve bicycle access. Bicycles would also be routed along Anacostia Drive and through a gate to the Anacostia parking garage, to get them off Howard Road, where they really didn’t belong.
The Chairman complimented the Transportation Department on developing this kind of program, recalling that thirty years ago they would have been developing an 8-lane freeway right through the middle of this area. He said he had a few comments he wanted to make. While he acknowledged that there were a few elements that tied the Washington streetscape together, like the Millet light standard with its “Washington Globe”, he thought there was also an opportunity to develop new designs that were specific to the place. He recalled the early 20th century Amsterdam School and its distinctive designs for small elements–bridge abutment bollards, staircase details or handrails–and he thought this approach could be applied here, in an area that would soon be undergoing radical change, rather than clinging to the traditional, although he understood that in the recent past, new had not been as good as old. He thought this was a chance to get good, bright, thoughtful designers to come up with something new, and he thought that extended to the landscape. He thought they had to be careful not to turn this urban area into a transplanted piece of suburbia. Ms. Penney agreed, and she noted that when the existing South Capitol Bridge was replaced, that would become the icon that would influence the character of future development in the area.
Mrs. Nelson observed that the choice of materials was important, that they should be of the highest quality. Then she commented on the tunnel that attracted homeless people, saying that they might trying putting classical music in there; from her work with homeless people she said she knew that it was an inexpensive, harmless way of getting them to leave a place, and it might make the tunnel less fearful for those who had to walk through it. She complimented Ms. Penney and DdoT on thinking about people instead of cars in this whole project. Mr. Rybczynski echoed the Chairman’s remarks about street furniture, from a slightly different point of view. While he thought there was an argument to make for traditional street furniture and environments, these neighborhoods were very contemporary, based on the automobile and having big intersections, and they had no charm. He thought the traditional elements might get lost in them, and that they might actually look bad.
The Chairman congratulated Ms. Penney on the thoughtfulness of this project and said the Commission would take a vote on it after lunch, when they would have a quorum.
D. U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
1. CFA 15/JUL/04-4, Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, Capital Beltway/U.S. Interstate Highway 95-495 between Telegraph Road (Rte. 611, Virginia) and Indian Head Highway (Rte. 210, Maryland). Rosalie Island improvements, Final. (Previous: CFA 20/MAR/03-4). The Acting Secretary introduced this project, saying it was the final element to be reviewed in the ongoing new Woodrow Wilson Bridge project. It concerned a deckover design and landscaping for Rosalie Island, a small island near the Maryland end of the bridge. He introduced Robert Healy, deputy director of the State Highway Administration’s Office for Bridge Development, and David Patterson, project manager for Rosalie Island; he asked Mr. Healy to begin the presentation.
Mr. Healy said at the time they had received final approval for the bridge in March 2003, they also received concept approval for the Rosalie Island element of the project, and they were now submitting a final design. He said the island was at the eastern end of the bridge and was being developed as a gateway to Maryland as well as being the Potomac River Waterfront Community Park; it would also provide access and connections to trails and other elements on both sides of the river. Beginning a Powerpoint presentation, he showed photographs of a model and rendering of the proposal, pointing out the deckover itself, the switchback bridges to connect up to the deckover, and the trail through the park to connect to a smaller bridge in Smoot’s Cove which would carry the trail back to the mainland on the Maryland side. He noted that Rosalie Island was not technically an island because it was connected to the mainland by a causeway carrying the Interstate highway, but had become known as one. Mr. Healey then asked David Patterson to continue the presentation.
Mr. Patterson introduced himself as an associate principal of Mahan Rykeil Associates of Baltimore, landscape architects. He said the central component of the project was the deckover structure going over the twelve lanes of the highway which would have a type of roof garden on top of it in addition to carrying the bike and pedestrian paths. At the south end of the island would be a park, called the Rosalie Island Park; On the north end would be the switchback structure that would take the bicycle path down from the deckover and connect to the bicycle path on the bridge going over to Alexandria, Virginia. At the other end, the path would connect to the bicycle trail system in Prince George’s County, Maryland, by means of a spiral ramp which was designed with no more than a 5 percent slope so that the whole system would be handicapped-accessible. He said the residents who lived near Oxon Hill wanted it to be a dignified gateway to Maryland, equal in quality to the one being constructed in Virginia.
He showed views of the deckover as it would be seen by travelers on the bridge. It would be a large, masonry-faced structure, supported by light-colored pylons on both ends and in the middle. The deck would be defined by a light-colored masonry band, and upright members of the same color would divide the enclosed area above the deck into darker stone-faced panels. Architectural uplighting would define the deckover at night. The bike and pedestrian paths on the deckover would thus exist in a walled-in space, the walls reaching 8 feet, including the metal fencing on top.
Mr. Patterson then described the bike and pedestrian path, plus secondary paths, that would cross the deckover. The principal path would be 16-feet wide, as opposed to a 12-foot width on the bridge itself. All paths would all be laid out in sinuous forms, to recall the flowing forms of the river. Special paving materials, patterns, and colors would be used. The concrete retaining walls on both sides would have an ashlar finish. The remaining surface of the deckover would be landscaped, using low plant material and small shrubs, emphasizing layered bands of plant material, and stressing native species. There would be interpretative signage on the approaches to the deckover, and night lighting in the form of light standards, wall lights and bollards would be provided. There would also be special view areas and overlooks on the approaches to the deckover.
The landscaping of the south park, on the island, was then discussed. The bike and pedestrian path would run through it in the same sinuous pattern it had taken on the deckover and then over a bridge to the mainland. There would be an overlook and potentially a pavilion and second overlook. A meadow area with seat walls would occupy the central space. The rest of the park would be heavily landscaped with trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. Typical ashlar-finish concrete retaining walls would run through the park area as necessary.
Don Herring from the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission was then introduced. He said they were very happy with the project because Prince George’s Country had very limited access to the water for recreational purposes; the bicycle organization was also pleased because they would now have a way to get access to the Virginia side. Aesthetically, Mr. Herring said the Planning Commission had no problems with the project, and he noted the several agencies and organizations that had worked together on it.
Cicero Salles spoke on behalf of the County Executive, saying the county government was excited about the project, feeling that it was really in line with their Livable Communities Initiative, and they appreciated the team effort that had gone into it.
The Chairman then commented on the presentations, saying that the Commission appreciated having large engineering projects presented in such a way that they were understandable as far as their aesthetic aspects were concerned. He said he was sorry that Diana Balmori, the landscape member of the Commission, was not present, but the other members would try to be as helpful as they could from their points of view. Recalling a personal experience, he said he remembered when, as a young man, he was designing Constitution Gardens on the Mall and was told by the Commission of Fine Arts that even though he was working with a very large piece of property, he had just too many good ideas for it. In this case, Rosalie Island was a very small piece of property, and he thought the enthusiasm and the different ideas, materials, and possible activities might, in fact, overwhelm the natural qualities and simplicity of this small island; these qualities might be more powerful than a plan which exhibited an example of every tree one could think of. He gave Roosevelt Island as an example of this kind of simplification.
He said there could be two approaches here; one was to do what Olmsted did in Central Park, with the roads that cross the park tucked into the ground through the use of underpasses with the landscape continuing on across in a natural flow. The other thing to do was to celebrate the span, and in this case, he thought the basic nature of the new bridge had been ignored. He said it was possible for such deckovers, by their very nature, to describe entranceways, but in this case, the heaviness of the structure thrown across the bridge seemed more to deny entrance. And putting stone on it was “putting a heavy weight on something [the bridge itself] that is trying, in fact, to shed that weight.” Also, they were not taking advantage of the inherent qualities of the material they were using–concrete–by recognizing its plastic qualities and possibly embedding design elements in it; by covering it with stone they were really apologizing for using it. He asked the other members for their comments.
Mr. Rybczynski essentially agreed with Mr. Childs’s comments. He did not think the little island could support all the activity planned for it, and he stressed the importance of continuity and simplicity in the design, which would flow from one side of the island over the bridge to the other. He thought that if possible, trees on the deckover would be helpful if weight were not a problem. As to the appearance of the deckover from the highway bridge, he thought motorists going 50 miles per hour would not even notice the stone. Mrs. Nelson commented that she had no feeling of a gateway when she saw the rendering made from the vantage point of a motorist, and she was not sympathetic to the idea of using ersatz stone.
The Chairman said the Commission would like to see this again, and he urged further exploration of more innovative engineering solutions. Mr. Healy said the Commission’s problems with the design had all been recognized and other solutions explored, but the results had not been satisfactory; they had not conveyed the gateway aspect and looked too much like the typical highway overpass. Mr. Childs said that need not be the case, but they had to turn it over to their best engineers. There was further discussion of the landscape part of the submission, including the possibility of using at least some trees on the deckover, and how the idea of a continuous, sweeping landscape, going from one side to the other, in the Olmstedian manner, could be developed. There was a consensus that the design should be looked at again along the lines suggested and brought back to the next meeting, or as soon as possible. The Chairman commended Mr. Healy and Mr. Patterson for all the work that had already been done, and he said what the project needed now was just some fine tuning.
2. CFA 15/JUL/04-5, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Boundary
Channel Bridge (north of I-395). Replacement bridge and safety improvements. Final. The Acting Secretary located this bridge, which carried the George Washington Parkway over Boundary Channel, and said it was to be replaced for various rehabilitation and safety reasons. He noted that it was right on axis with the Pentagon’s formal plaza and the Jefferson Memorial, and then introduced Jack Van Dop from the FHA to make the presentation.
Mr. Van Dop said the bridge would be widened to accommodate a new merge lane to alleviate a dangerous situation involving traffic entering the Parkway from westbound 14th Street Bridge. There would also be a new stone-faced median barrier, replacing the existing Jersey barrier, and a new guardrail, with a stone lower section and a steel railing above, separating the bicycle-pedestrian trail from the roadway; Mr. Van Dop said that at present there was no guardrail. The trail would also be widened to 10 feet from the existing 6 feet. Mr.Van Dop noted that the bridge was commonly referred to as the “Humpback Bridge” because of its shape, and he said that because of this shape, which occurred mostly in the approaches rather than on the bridge itself, a dangerously short sight distance existed which would be corrected by smoothing out the hump, resulting in a slightly longer bridge.
Another dangerous situation existed near the Navy-Marine Memorial, in the form of a grade crossing of the Parkway used by visitors to the memorial. The seven-car parking lot near the memorial would be removed, and visitors would use the parking lot at the marina on the west side of the Parkway. Tunnels in the abutments of the new bridge would allow visitors to reach the memorial in this way, as well as accommodate east-west bicycle traffic.
Mr. Van Dop said that the stone from the original bridge, built in 1932, would be reused, with new stone added as needed. The east, or Potomac River side of the bridge, would not change in alignment, since the widening would all occur to the south; therefore, the relation to the riverbank and the Navy-Marine Memorial would remain.
Mr. Van Dop pointed out other minor changes in approaches and guardrails and also talked about the landscaping, which would be augmented or replaced following either the 1932 or the 1970 plan and would used native plants as much as possible, according to current Park Service practice.
The Chairman thanked Mr. Van Dop for his presentation and said there were some lessons here for those working on the previous project, specifically the continuity of the Parkway as it crossed the bridge and continued on the other side. He commented on the beauty of the bridge and the care that had been taken to preserve at least some of the hump-back quality, although some of it had to be sacrificed in the interest of safety. He thought the approach had been exactly right, and the considerations of safety, convenience, history, and beauty nicely balanced.
Mrs. Nelson had a question about some of the “exotic” plants that had been used in the original Parkway planting plan, and she also asked about the techniques of removing and saving the original stone. Mr. Van Dop said one of the requirements was to catalogue and reuse the original stone, and although some new stone would have to be used, the side of the bridge facing the river would have all original stone. Mr. Rybczynski said he had just one suggestion, and that was to use a dark, matte color for the metal rail on the upper part of the trail/roadway separation barrier, so that it would be as unintrusive as possible and not spoil the beauty of the bridge. The Chairman and Mr. Van Dop agreed that would be a good idea, and Mr. Van Dop added that they would be removing the raised sidewalk when the new barrier was installed, making it considerably lower. He noted also that views of the bridge were mostly from below, and the sight lines would go over the bridge parapet, making it likely that the rail would not be visible.
The Chairman said he would entertain a motion for final approval with Mr. Rybczynski’s comment, since Ms. Zimmerman had arrived, giving the Commission a quorum. Mr. Rybczynski made the motion, which was seconded by Mrs. Nelson and passed unanimously. Mr. Lindstrom asked if approval of final details could be delegated to the staff, and the Chairman said there would be no objection to that.
(The meeting was recessed for lunch at 12:43 p.m. and reconvened at 1:15 p.m.)
The Chairman began by summarizing the discussions and recommendations on those projects that had been reviewed before Ms. Zimmerman arrived, so that they could be voted on.
For item II. B, the Prettyman U.S. Courthouse, Mrs. Nelson moved that the applicants simplify the bollard system and further develop the detailing as discussed. Mr. Rybczynski seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
For item C, the Anacostia Access Study, Mr. Rybczynski moved that the staff review the individual proposals, and that generally, a more contemporary approach be taken to the design of the various pieces of street furniture, considering that were dealing with non-traditional automobile spaces; this approach should apply to the landscaping also. Mrs. Nelson seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
For item II.B.1, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Rosalie Island project, Mrs. Nelson moved that the applicants be asked to submit a revised design with a simplified and continuous landscape scheme, and a new look at the nature of the deckover and its effectiveness as a gateway. Mr. Rybczynski seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
E. District of Columbia Public Schools
CFA 15/JUL/04-6, MacFarland Middle School, 4400 Iowa Avenue, NW. Additions and modernization. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 20/MAY/04-16). Ms. Alg said that the Commission had last reviewed the proposed changes to MacFarland Middle School in May and that the applicants had returned with modifications primarily to the site plan. She introduced Mark Manetti to make the presentation.
Mr. Manetti said the presentation would focus on two major items, the site plan in relation to green space and the canopy proposed for the main entrance. The site plan focused on the main entrance on Iowa Street and the parking lot on the south side of the building. The main entrance would have two sets of stairs, each flanked by wheelchair accessible ramps. The stairs from the sidewalk, the drop-off point for buses, would be enclosed within a retaining wall which in turn would form the bases of the ramps. Stairs and ramps would both be enclosed with fence- like railings. These stairs would lead to a plaza, a paved path with a circular form in the center, which would lead to the second set of stairs. A flagpole would stand in the center of the circle, and the path would have grass on both sides of it. As with the first set of stairs, the second set would also be flanked by wheelchair ramps. The ramps would be a continuation of the path and would wind around landscaped areas. The stairs would also have railings, but would be open and more integrated into the center of the landscaping.
Although the Commission were concerned that the parking lot would be positioned too far ahead of the school, Mr. Manetti said that it would be difficult to push the parking lot back without loss of parking spaces. In order to break the monotony of the parking lot, landscaped islands would be added. The gate proposed for the entry of the parking lot remained unchanged since the last presentation.
The canopy proposed for the entrance was the same rounded shape, but Mr. Manetti showed more details in the design. The canopy would be supported at four corners on round bases. Upon each base would stand a pair of poles that would rise into more of a tree-like structure, with "branches" rising to the structural grid supports of the canopy roof. The roof would be made of a translucent structural glass. Mr. Manetti presented three possible colors for the supports and stated that the preference was for the school color, maroon.
The Commission were complimentary to the proposal, noting that their previous suggestions had been very well taken into account. The Chairman said the stairs could perhaps be more open and welcoming. Ms. Zimmerman suggested that a more opaque glass might be better for the canopy, since frequent cleanings might not be possible. Ms. Zimmerman and Ms. Nelson both said they liked the darker color selected for the canopy. With those comments, a motion to approve the concept was made, seconded and carried.
F. Smithsonian Institution
CFA 15/JUL/04-7 National Air and Space Museum, Independence Avenue and 6th Street, SW. Perimeter security, barriers and guard booths. Final. (Previous: CFA 15/JAN/04-6, Mall-wide perimeter security for the Smithsonian museums) Ms. Alg noted that these proposals had been reviewed in January and that Harry Rombach from the Smithsonian and Hany Hassan from Beyer Blinder Belle were present to show modifications that had been made.
Mr. Rombach recalled that they had presented plans for all the Smithsonian’s Mall museums in January, and they were now bringing the individual museum plans back for final approval. He introduced Hany Hassan to discuss the designs for Air and Space.
Mr. Hassan introduced landscape architect Roger Courtenay from EDAW, who had been working with him, and showed photographs of the museum, noting the existing walls and planters that would be used to provide perimeter security; only in places where there were no walls or the walls were not strong enough to withstand the impact would there be modifications.
Mr. Hassan began with the Mall side, the only area where a line of bollards would have to be used. In order to break down the scale of this repetitive element, the bollards would be interspersed with 30-inch-high pedestals–the height required for security. The two on the ends would be the new bases for the existing flag poles, and the other four would have some form of art element that was relevant to the museum’s mission embedded in the tops. He said they had funds to do this but no designs as yet. A new element would be a pair of ADA ramps, one on each side of the entrance which would be built into the first layer of the existing planters.
On the east side there were two guard booths to deal with. Currently they were located on the sidewalk, but their thought was to incorporate them within the hardened perimeter walls, making a seamless transition from the wall to the base of the guard booth. The Commission had asked that they make the booths as simple as possible and of a contemporary design. He showed drawings, pointing out that the roof really had no form; it was just flat. He noted, however, the fine detailing of the booths, especially the steel mullions with simple bevels and side fins, and the projecting fin where the marble base met the window glass. Mr. Hassan said they would like to use this design for other sites as opposed to different designs for each site, keyed to the design of the building
Mr. Hassan said the south side, facing Independence Avenue, had been challenging because the building came out so close to the street that the bollards had to be placed near or at the curb. There was also the visual problem of the center line of the building not being lined up with the end of the street coming into Independence Avenue, thus throwing the crossings off center. To disguise this and to make room for the handicap ramps at each crossing, the bollards had been placed in a jogged position. Within this area planters for new trees had been introduced to soften this side of the building, which faced south and had no trees.
On the west side new free-standing walls would frame the existing sculpture, with gaps in the walls for approach to the sculpture and fountains. Existing planters would remain, with new free-standing walls framing those at the corners of the site.
Mr. Hassan then showed boards with details of the bollards and samples of materials. On the north side only there would be groupings of bollards of an aerodynamic shape between the pedestals, alternating with groups of typical bollards. The typical bollard would be a simple cylindrical form. Both bollards would have a domed top and a brushed stainless steel finish with the grain running horizontally. The Chairman suggested that Mr. Hassan investigate a non- directional finish which would help solve the fingerprint problem seen on stainless steel. There was a discussion of the granite sample, which the Chairman thought would look considerably lighter outside, and of the orientation of the aerodynamic-shaped bollards, with the suggestion being made by Mrs. Nelson that they might be turned slightly towards the entrance, to give more emphasis to their interesting shape. Mr. Rybczynski commented on the pedestals, saying that the architects should be sure they would really be used for some artistic purpose; otherwise, it might be better just to stick with the bollards. Ms. Zimmerman asked what the size of the pedestals would be and was told they would be approximately 4 feet square, responding to the required distance between the bollards.
The Chairman congratulated Mr. Hassan on his fine presentation, and he asked him to work with the staff on the development of final details. He thought the design of the guard booths had responded very well to the Commission’s requests. He said the Commission could give the overall design final approval, with a follow up on the specific details that had not yet received their definitive form. Ms. Zimmerman made a motion to that effect with a second from Mrs. Nelson, and it was approved unanimously.
G. National Park Service
1. CFA 15/JUL/04-8, Georgetown Waterfront Park, bounded by the Potomac
River and Water Street, from the Francis Scott Key Bridge to the terminus of 31st Street. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 17/JUL/03-3). Mr. Martinez recalled to the Commission that they reviewed the concept for the proposed park in July 2003 and had made a site visit in November 2003. While the Commission received the proposal favorably, there were concerns that the design at the terminus of Wisconsin Avenue to the waterfront would need to be simplified, particularly in relation to the fountain proposed there. Mr. Martinez said that the Old Georgetown Board were given an informational presentation at their July 2004 meeting and that they had no objections. Their main concern was that the pergola might be prone to graffiti and they were assured that the pergola would be well maintained. Sally Blumenthal of the National Park Service and Ignacio Bunster-Ossa of Wallace, Roberts and Todd made the presentation.
Concentrating specifically on the east end of the proposed park, Mr. Bunster-Ossa referred to both previously presented and updated models and also projected images to highlight the refinements made to the design. The promenade edge was brought closer to the water. One the pergolas was removed, leaving one pergola, reduced in scale, that would parallel the river. The entry to the promenade was consolidated into a single plaza that would contain the fountain and link to the river's edge. The fountain would consist of three rows of linear jets of three to four foot water curtains coming out of interrupted granite. These rows would also parallel the river and approximate the historic shorelines. For the interface between the plaza and the river steps, the promenade space in between would incline to allow for visibility and end up with a railing at river's edge, to the west of the steps. Details of the railing's design were still to be determined, but the desire was to have some transparency.
Mr. Bunster-Ossa also discussed additional sculptural elements which would serve functional purposes. A series of bollards and a planter would line the top of the river steps. Although design details for these elements were still forthcoming, the concept behind this combination was to prevent wheelchairs from rolling down the steps, while avoiding a monotonous row of bollards. Boulders would also be interspersed throughout the plaza space, on the west edge of the fountain, by the jets. The boulders would be carved to provide seating and would also be designed to be climbed on.
The Chairman began the comments with apologies from commission member Diana Balmori who could not be present. He said that Ms. Balmori had studied the drawings and had asked that he pass along her comments. Ms. Balmori felt that the previous, more angular treatment of the west edge of the river steps worked better than the more blunted treatment presented. She feared that the planter would block views of the river from the pergola and cautioned that the planter should be low enough to prevent that. Ms. Balmori was also concerned about the boulders and felt they needed more explanation. Mr. Bunster-Ossa explained that in addition to providing seating, the boulders would mark the historic water lines when the jets
were turned off. The boulders' seating would not face towards the river exclusively but would provide views throughout the park. Ms. Blumenthal added that the boulders were significant because they exemplified the escarpment typical of the river's edge.
Mr. Rybczynski had concerns about both the boulders and the railing. He felt the boulders did not accomplish very much, but rather, could be seen as obstacles to the river. The railing would need to be a more formidable piece, since what was presented in the drawings would be more appropriate to a building than a park. Ms. Blumenthal pointed out that the Park Service strived to avoid having the whole waterfront railed off, as the idea was to invite people to the river's edge. This was the reason why a variety of edge elements, such as plant material, masonry forms and a somewhat transparent railing were proposed. A railing of this type would provide the "bough of the ship" experience the park design team was trying to create. The Chairman commended Ms. Blumenthal and the Park Service for their efforts to create a river's edge that is both inviting and safe. He suggested that some combination of a metal fence with masonry piers, similar to a type proposed elsewhere along the river's edge might be a solution.
Returning to the discussion of the boulders, the Chairman said he agreed with Mr. Rybczynski and Ms. Zimmerman suggested that if there must be rocks, there must be more importance attached to them. The Chairman suggested that perhaps the idea of the escarpment might be incorporated into the paving of the fountain plaza in the form of horizontal lines.
Jonda McFarlane of the Georgetown Waterfront Commission testified that her commission provided a lot of input, and were very pleased with the direction the design was taking. The Park Service had presented the design to the waterfront commission the previous evening, and that commission was very eager that the project go forward.
With those comments, the revised concept of the proposal was approved. Returning to the discussion of the boulders, the Chairman said he agreed with Mr. Rybczynski and Ms. Zimmerman suggested that if there must be rocks, there must be more importance attached to them. The Chairman suggested that perhaps the idea of the escarpment might be incorporated into the paving of the fountain plaza in the form of horizontal lines.
Jonda McFarlane of the Georgetown Waterfront Commission testified that her commission provided a lot of input, and were very pleased with the direction the design was taking. The Park Service had presented the design to the waterfront commission the previous evening, and that commission was very eager that the project go forward.
With those comments, the revised concept of the proposal was approved.
2. CFA 15/JUL/04-9, National Mall, West Potomac Park. Color scheme for food service kiosks. Final. (Previous: CFA 20/NOV/03-1, part of the Lincoln Memorial Circle rehabilitation project). Mr. Martinez said that the color scheme for the Park Service's food service kiosks was last reviewed in November 2003 as part of a larger review of the Lincoln Memorial Circle rehabilitation. The Park Service was returning with two choices for a color scheme, three if the existing scheme was counted. Mary Oehrlein of Oehrlein Associates Architects and Sally Blumenthal of the National Park Service presented the proposed color schemes.
Using renderings and photographs of an actual kiosk painted as a sample, the proposal was to paint the stucco portions in one of two variations of light green, the trim in either brown or dark green, and the sash in one of two variations of dark brown. Ms. Blumenthal emphasized that whichever scheme was chosen, it would be identifiable as a Park Service structure, and that all service and information structures, with the exception of those associated with the World War II Memorial, would be painted with the same colors. The preference of the Park Service was for the scheme with the lighter colored (brown) trim.
The Chairman expressed regrets that the Commission was unable to view the painted sample in situ that morning. After a brief discussion, it was agreed that a final action would be deferred until a site visit, which would occur before the next meeting.
H. District of Columbia Courts/General Services Administration
CFA 15/JUL/04-10, District of Columbia Old Courthouse, Judiciary Square, between D and E streets, NW. Additions and renovation. Final. (Previous: CFA 18/MAR/04-8) Ms. Alg introduced John Belle from Beyer Blinder Belle to present the final designs for the Old Courthouse renovation.
Mr. Belle recalled the Commission’s request to see the final landscaping elements, and he said they had been focusing on those elements around the entrance to the new terrace: the configuration of the seating around the terrace, the use of water, and particularly the area that might be water in the summer months but might not work well as water in the winter. He also recalled the request that he consider continuing the seating, which was actually the inner wall of the water element, around the third side of the terrace, that is, in front of the north wall of the Old Courthouse. He said they really could not do that, because they had to keep an opening near the wall to provide an alternate handicapped access to the courthouse during the period of construction of the Law Enforcement Museum. In lieu of a continuous seating wall, they had chosen to place a freestanding stone bench against the wall.
Turning to the decisions regarding the water element, Mr. Belle said that the higher retaining wall on the outer side of the water element would be gently sloped marble wall over which water would run , filling the pool area. On the surface there would be inscriptions incised having to do with justice. In the winter, when the water was turned off, the inscriptions would provide some interest to the wall. It was noted that this inner surface would be polished, in contrast to the rest of the stone on the terrace, to give it a different texture and additional interest.
The Chairman then recalled a comment made the last time this project was discussed, by Davis Buckley, the architect for the Law Enforcement Museum. Mr. Buckley had suggested that if the corners of the courthouse terraces were pulled back and rounded off, a curved diagonal path would be created, which, if lined with trees, would concentrate views through the Square. Mr. Childs said he was not recommending this, but would like Mr. Belle’s comments on it.
Mr. Belle said he had seen that plan, and he observed that it would substantially reduce the size of the terrace on both sides. A different ramping scheme would also be required, one which would bring people exactly where they didn’t want them–beyond the front entrance of the building; making the wide turn to swing back to the entrance would also be difficult. Mr. Belle said Mr. Buckley’s scheme was not as simple as it looked, although he would be happy to continue talking to him about it. Hany Hassan, from Mr. Belle’s office, commented further on the orthogonal design of the terraces, saying that the plateau and the terraces were integral parts of the addition, more part of the building than of the landscape, and they continued the orthogonal nature of the historic building as did the simple ramps that had been developed to approach it. He observed that the whole ensemble was set in a park, and would receive the softening effects of the landscaping and curved paths in that area.
The Chairman said he found Mr. Hassan’s argument compelling, and had just raised the question because it had been put forth by Mr. Buckley. He asked for any other comments, and hearing none, asked for a motion confirming approval of the final design. Ms. Zimmerman made the motion, which was seconded by Mrs. Nelson, and carried unanimously.
I. Department of the Army
1. CFA 15/JUL/04-11, Fort Myer, Arlington, Virginia. New three-building barracks complex on Sheridan Avenue. Concept. The Acting Secretary said that the proposed three building barracks complex would be located in the historic district of Fort Myer. He indicated which existing buildings would be removed in order to construct the new barracks buildings. Leonard Morton, from the Fort Myer military community and Lawrence Young, the project architect, made the presentation.
Mr. Morton said that this project was part of an ambitious barracks rehabilitation program and that the community and the architect were very mindful of the proximity to the fort historic district to the proposed barracks. He then turned the presentation over to Mr. Young.
The barracks complex would consist of two buildings to house a total of 420 enlisted personnel and an administration building which would function as a Consolidated Operations Facility (COF). The two barracks buildings would be three-story structures with partial basements for mechanical equipment. Each of the barracks buildings would have a U-shaped footprint, per the master plan. Their architectural details, including double-decked front porches and dormers, would be similar to those found on the historic buildings across the street. The materials would include red brick for the facades and slate for the roofs. The windows would be double-hung and blast resistant. The COF would also be a three-story structure, with the lower level sunk into the ground for mechanical and utility uses.
As part of the larger site development, in accordance with the master plan, foot traffic would be enhanced with the development of pedestrian walkways to nearby troop support facilities such as the dining hall and community center and to the parade ground. A road, Gorgas Street, would be relocated and would run between the COF and the barracks buildings.
The Chairman commended the applicants for their adherence to the master plan and to their sensitivity to the historic buildings in the immediate area. He requested that they carefully study the height and scale of the proposed buildings, since, as presented in concept, it appeared that they might turn out to be too large in relation to the existing historic buildings. The Chairman said that the proposed buildings would be a vast improvement over those currently on the site, which did not fit in with the master plan. Mr. Rybczynski said that he liked the concept and agreed with the choice of materials. He asked about what appeared to be concrete slabs behind the brick facades on the first and second floors of the barracks. He was told that this was a detail that occurred on other buildings on the base. Mr. Young added that force protections requirements mandated the use of reinforced concrete, to which would be added a brick veneer.
The Chairman requested a site visit and asked that material samples be provided at the next review. He asked that the applicants work with the staff on the height questions. With those comments, the proposal was approved in concept.
2. CFA 15/JUL/04-12, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Main Section.
16th Street and Elder Street gates. Visitor registration buildings. Final. (Previous: CFA 17/JUN/04-7). The Acting Secretary introduced the proposed details on the visitor registration building at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as the last component of a perimeter security project there. Jefry Zalewski, architect with Centrom, presented the project.
Mr. Zalewski highlighted changes to the canopy treatment of the building from using two canopies to using one. The canopy proposed would wrap around the corner of the building. The canopy's height was reduced and its length extended. The effect was a thinner, more streamlined canopy. The number of scuppers were reduced from four to two, so that drainage could occur into the planting beds rather than internally.
Ms. Zimmerman said that the changes were a real improvement and wrapping the canopy around the building added to its design as well as its function. She made a motion to approve which was seconded by Ms. Nelson. The motion was carried and the project was approved.
J. District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
1. Old Georgetown Act
a. O.G. 04-207, Georgetown University, 3700 O Street, NW. New multi-sport facility. Concept. Mr. Martinez said that the Old Georgetown Board reviewed the proposal for the multi-sport facility (MSF) at their July 2004 meeting where it was well received. Allen Brangman of Georgetown University and Mr. Hughes of Hughes Group Architects made the presentation.
Mr. Brangman told the Commission that the MSF would be located to the south of the proposed McDonough School of Business, a project the Commission had approved in their June 2004 meeting, and to the north of the southwest quadrangle. Like the business school, the MSF would conform to the University's master plan. Mr. Brangman said that the architects were given two main requirements; that the facility fit with the architecture of the historic campus and that it work as a transition point with other quadrants on the campus. With that, he turned the presentation over to Mr. Hughes.
In the interest of fulfilling the university's requirements, Mr. Hughes highlighted the four portal elements at each corner of the stadium. These portals were designed in the American Gothic style of the historic buildings on the campus. They also provided entry through the stadium to internal colonnades which would allow circulation to other parts of the campus. There would be sidewalks that would correspond to the colonnades, for circulation when the stadium was in use. Mr. Hughes also noted that the field would have artificial turf and that the site of the stadium was sloped, allowing students fuller views of the campus from the dormitory quadrant.
The proposal was very well received by the Commission. The Chairman, while complimentary, emphasized the importance of getting the details right as the design developed, since the approach was to fit in with the architecture of the campus rather than depart from it.
Mr. Rybczynski concurred with the comment about details, and said that he liked the consistency of the proposed design. One of the details discussed was lighting. Mr. Hughes said that the lighting would be supported with armature elements as opposed to 80 foot poles typically used in stadiums. Also, a system of micro-speakers would be used to distribute sound, as opposed to bullhorns.
With those comments, the concept was approved.
b. Appendix I. Mr. Martinez said that one case was removed from the appendix at the request of the applicant. The Old Georgetown appendix was approved.
(The agenda order was changed and the Shipstead-Luce appendix was discussed before case S.L. 04-097, 1414 22nd Street NW.)
2. Shipstead-Luce Act
b. Appendix II. Ms. Alg said that one case was removed from the appendix for referral to September and that supplemental drawings were received and dated. The Shipstead-Luce appendix was approved.
a. S.L. 04-097, 1414 22nd street, NW. Conversion of existing office building to condominiums with new facades. Revised design. Final. (Previous: S.L. 04-090, 17 June 2004). Ms. Alg introduced Mike Hickok of Hickok Warner Cole Architects, to present modifications made to the design at 1414 22nd Street NW since the Commission last reviewed the project in June 2004. Mr. Hickok said that, per the Commission's comments, the cornice would be a continuous band, whereas previously, it was interrupted by brick on the north and south elevations. The round windows on the east elevation would become oval, for a more vertical effect.
The Commission thanked Mr. Hickok for taking their suggestions into account and approved the proposal. The Chairman said that any further details could be delegated to the staff for review.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:36 p.m.
Frederick J. Lindstrom