The meeting was convened in the Commission of Fine Arts offices in the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, N.W, Washington, D.C. 20001, at 10:12 a.m.
Hon. Earl A. Powell, Chairman
Hon. Nelson, Vice-Chairman
Hon. Michael McKinnell
Hon. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
Hon. Witold Rybczynski
Thomas E. Luebke, Secretary
Frederick J. Lindstrom, Assistant Secretary
A. Approval of the minutes of the 18 September meeting. Mr. Luebke reported that the minutes of the September meeting were circulated to the Commission members in advance. Upon a motion by Ms. Nelson with second by Ms. Plater-Zyberk, the Commission approved the minutes without objection.
B. Dates of next meetings. Mr. Luebke presented the regularly scheduled dates for upcoming Commission meetings: 20 November, 22 January, and 19 February. He noted that no meeting is scheduled in December and that the January date is one week later than usual due to the conflict with the New Year's holiday.
Mr. Luebke reported on the site inspections prior to the meeting. He said that the inspection the previous evening of the proposed lighting at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce building facing Lafayette Square will need to be repeated next month at a darker time to allow a more detailed assessment; accordingly, the agenda item has been postponed for a month at the request of the applicant (item II.G.3). He also reported on the site inspection earlier in the morning of the Georgetown Park shopping mall, where an expansion and alterations are proposed; Chairman Powell recommended deferring discussion until consideration of the proposal later on the agenda (item II.G.1).
II. Submissions and Reviews
Mr. Luebke introduced the three appendices for Commission action. Drafts of the appendices had been circulated to the Commission members in advance of the meeting.
Appendix I — Direct Submission Consent Calendar: Mr. Lindstrom said that there were no changes to the draft appendix. Upon a motion by Ms. Plater-Zyberk with second by Ms. Nelson, the Commission approved the Direct Submission Consent Calendar.
Appendix II — Shipstead-Luce Act Submissions: Ms. Batcheler said that there were no changes to the two items on the draft appendix. Upon a motion by Mr. Rybczynski, the Commission approved the Shipstead-Luce appendix. (See item II.G.2 for an additional Shipstead-Luce Act submission.)
Appendix III — Old Georgetown Act Submissions: Mr. Martínez reported several revisions to the 39 items on the draft appendix. Dates have been adjusted in response to supplemental drawings that have been received, and the recommendation for one project (case number O.G. 08-322) was changed from unfavorable to favorable based on supplemental drawings. Upon a motion by Ms. Plater-Zyberk with second by Ms. Nelson, the Commission approved the revised Old Georgetown appendix. (See item II.G.1 for an additional Old Georgetown Act submission.)
B. General Services Administration
CFA 16/OCT/08-1, St. Elizabeths Hospital. West Campus, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, S.E. Master Plan and Security Master Plan for the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters. Information presentation. (Previous: CFA 21/JUN/07-1.) Mr. Luebke said that the information presentation is being provided in anticipation of the formal submission of the master plan for the Commission's final approval at the next month's meeting. He summarized the Commission's previous review in October 2007 of the draft master plan: the Commission decided to take no action, recommending reevaluation of the density that could be accommodated on the site and submission of a wider range of master plan alternatives—including the possible relocation of some of the program to the east campus, on the other side of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue. He said that the Commission had also emphasized the importance of the site's topographic prominence on the escarpment framing the national capital.
Mr. Luebke described the development of the master plan by the General Services Administration (GSA) over the past year, including new alternatives and publication of the cultural landscape report that notes the extraordinary integrity of the site. He said that the current proposal retains the proposed program of four million square feet plus parking, for a total of about six million square feet, with a preferred alternative that would place one million square feet of the program on the east campus which is administered by the District of Columbia government and is, along with the west campus, a National Historic Landmark. He compared the resulting program for the west campus, approximately 5 million square feet, with the previous year's recommendation by consulting parties and the National Capital Planning Commission to limit development on the west campus to 2.5 million square feet. He introduced Mike McGill of GSA to begin the presentation.
Mr. McGill said that GSA has been working in the past year to respond to the comments from the Commission and other parties, resulting in the creative solution to reduce the density on the west campus by placing part of the program on the east campus, which promotes the goal of historic preservation on the west campus as well as the D.C. government's effort to encourage development of the east campus. He explained that the operating D.C. mental health facility on the east campus is being consolidated into a new building which will allow for extensive redevelopment of that area. He introduced GSA's project executive, Dawud Abdur-Rahman, to present the master plan proposal.
Mr. Abdur-Rahman explained that the project is being coordinated with the D.C. government, particularly concerning potential use of the east campus, and with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose headquarters is planned for the site. He described the environmental and historic preservation review processes that parallel the development of the master plan; the final environmental impact statement includes three alternatives. He said that GSA has been considering past comments concerning alternative densities, transportation, parking, community benefits, viewsheds, and the prominence of the site as part of Washington's topographic bowl. He said that one resulting change has been the revision of the parking ratio—previously one space per three employees, now revised to one space per four employees; he noted that the previous 1:3 ratio would remain in effect for 1,000 employees working on special shifts. He added that the amount of below-grade development has been increased and the footprint of proposed new construction has been decreased. He said that GSA's commitment to historic preservation is demonstrated by the $30 million spent on stabilization of the west campus buildings and on evaluation studies. He added that DHS has received a $100 million appropriation to begin the headquarters project, and GSA has a pending budget request of $346 million beginning in fiscal year 2009 for the project.
Mr. Abdur-Rahman presented the master plan alternative that makes use of the east campus, which he said responds to many of the comments that were received. He said that the distribution of the program (excluding parking) would include approximately 3.8 million square feet on the west campus and 750,000 square feet on the east campus; some type of connection between the campuses would be provided so that the areas could function as a single campus, meeting the programmatic requirements for DHS. This alternative would reduce the amount of new construction proposed at the historic core of the west campus, with development being accommodated primarily in the historic buildings and in new construction at the site of an existing warehouse, at the location of the former Howard Hall, and in the southern portion of the pavilion area. He said that this alternative includes demolition of nearly all buildings that are not considered to contribute to the historic character of the campus, which he said will "clarify the history of the site."
Mr. Abdur-Rahman described the effect of this alternative on reducing the footprint of new construction on the west campus. He added that the revised parking requirement has reduced the total program of the project to approximately six million square feet. He presented information on the context for the east and west campuses, indicating the likely development area in the east campus, immediately across Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue from the west campus. He noted that D.C. representatives were in the audience and could respond to questions about the east campus. He explained that DHS had studied its program to select functions which could be located on the east campus without interfering with operational needs; the identified functions, typically involving a public or community component, resulted in the maximum total of 750,000 square feet for the east campus, in addition to 270,000 square feet of parking. He said that this alternative has the support of the D.C. government, including the D.C. Council's chair and local representative, with the mayor's endorsement expected soon; and the proposal also has Congressional support. He presented a planning diagram prepared by the D.C. government showing where the DHS facilities could be located on the east campus; he explained that the diagram is part of the D.C. process, still underway, for approving the "small-area plan" for the east campus. He indicated the adjacent D.C. communication center and explained the intention to provide retail space along Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue for use by employees as well as the general public.
Mr. Abdur-Rahman presented a video animation of the proposal. He then introduced architect Russell Perry of the SmithGroup to present another alternative that was studied but not pursued: a response to the recommendation of consulting parties and the National Capital Planning Commission to study a 2.5-million-square-foot program of above-grade space. Mr. Abdur-Rahman explained that this proposal would not meet the programmatic need for the DHS headquarters, which is the purpose of the project, but nonetheless the study was informative in understanding the site and the impact of other alternatives.
Mr. Perry summarized the topography of the site; Chairman Powell commented that most of the Commission members have visited the site but requested the opportunity for another visit before next month's formal review of the master plan. Mr. Perry said that the reduced programmatic area was distributed to respect the historic system of paths and roads that "define the character of the site" and relate to the location of existing or former buildings. The study assumed the reuse of historic buildings and new construction at the ravine and around the pavilion area, resulting in an above-grade built area of 2.5 million square feet; he emphasized that this total is derived from the site conditions rather than from any particular program.
Mr. Perry then explained how the proposals from the reduced-program study would compare to the proposal for the larger program that would accommodate the DHS headquarters. He indicated the "modest additions" to the historic buildings at the core of the campus, proposed to provide the desired contiguous areas, while noting that the entire campus is designated as a historic landmark. The proposed development at the pavilion area would be similar for the larger and smaller overall programs. The larger program would primarily be accommodated by new construction to replace the warehouse in the ravine in the western area of the site, with a proposal for a building stepping down the hillside with a height of two to three stories at the top and four- to five-story sunken courtyards to bring daylight to the office areas.
Mr. Rybczynski asked where parking would be located. Mr. Perry indicated the dashed lines represented the location of two underground parking areas; he explained that one area would replace greenhouses near the main entrance, the only contributing historic buildings that would be demolished since there would be no need for them. He explained that the parking garage on the west side would step up the ravine and would include green roofs and other plantings to "blend into the forested setting."
Mr. Perry described two options for meeting the DHS program: one making use of the east campus, as Mr. Abdur-Rahman had presented; and another that accommodates the entire program on the west campus in case the proposed agreement is not completed with the D.C. government concerning use of the east campus. The difference between these options, approximately 700,000 to one million square feet, would be accommodated with additional development at the pavilion area; in either case, two pavilion-scaled buildings would complete the edge of the quadrangle, but the larger program in this area—a total of about 1.3 million square feet— would be accommodated by placing taller buildings behind the new pavilions.
Mr. Abdur-Rahman explained that GSA has begun design and landscape guidelines and has completed the cultural landscape report, which influenced the development of the current master-plan alternatives. He said that GSA is preparing an extensive list of mitigation measures that will become part of a programmatic agreement that is being developed. He said that the security plan for the installation is also still being finalized, as well as transportation issues related to connections with Malcom X Avenue, Firth Sterling Avenue, and Suitland Parkway. He noted that the transportation issues are being coordinated with the Federal Highway Administration and the National Park Service.
Mr. Abdur-Rahman presented a comparison of the alternatives, explaining that a preferred alternative has not yet been formally chosen through the environmental process but the leading option is the one that makes partial use of the east campus. He said that the D.C. Council has revised its scheduled date for action on the east campus plan, and the Council's decision will now be made prior to the scheduled final actions on the GSA master plan by the Commission and the National Capital Planning Commission.
Mr. Rybczynski asked if the design team has changed since the previous presentation, recalling the presentation of an architectural design by Perkins and Will. Mr. McGill clarified that Perkins and Will has been the design architecture firm for the intended first phase of the master plan's implementation, which will be a headquarters building for the Coast Guard, a part of DHS, while the SmithGroup is a subconsultant for the overall master plan that is currently being presented. Mr. McKinnell recalled the unusual building massing that was proposed by Perkins and Will but is not included in the current presentation. Mr. Abdur-Rahman explained the need to prevent the design process for particular buildings, as previously presented by Perkins and Will, from getting ahead of the master planning process that is currently being presented; he said that the building proposals will be expected to conform to the master plan, including design guidelines, as approved by the review agencies. He said that the design of the Coast Guard headquarters was funded in fiscal year 2006, so Perkins and Will had gotten ahead of the master plan in designing that component but the schedule is being adjusted to allow the master plan to be completed before the building design; he added that the building design would be revised as necessary to conform to the master plan. Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked about the location of the Coast Guard building; Mr. Abdur-Rahman responded that it would be located on the site of the warehouse building.
Mr. Rybczynski asked about the relation of the site to Metro access; Mr. Abdur-Rahman indicated the tunnel alignment and described the potential for a connection into a new Metro station at the east campus, explaining that the D.C. government has begun preliminary discussions with the transit authority about this possibility. Mr. Rybczynski asked if that connection could link directly to the west campus through a tunnel; Mr. Abdur-Rahman said that this is not planned because a station would need to serve the wider community, including the extensive redevelopment of the east campus anticipated by the D.C. government, in addition to the 14,000 federal employees that would be brought to the area by the DHS project. He also indicated the two existing Metro stations in the general vicinity, a long walk from the west campus, and said that DHS plans to operate a shuttle to the Metro.
Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked if employees would be expected to walk between buildings on the extensive campus. Mr. Abdur-Rahman said that one of the the master plan principles is to treat the campus as a walkable area. He said that DHS is consolidating its facilities in order to promote the culture of a single agency at a single place, resulting in an emphasis on the road system, connections among buildings, and shared services toward the center of the campus; he added that this approach would continue the historic use pattern of the campus as well as promote DHS operational goals.
Ms. Plater-Zyberk commented that the campus configuration, while an appropriate concept for a community in which people live, is less suitable as a workplace for commuters. She questioned how the 14,000 employees—a population larger than that of a small town—would arrive on a daily basis, park, and walk to their workplace, and perhaps drive off-campus during lunch. She commented on the impact of this commuting on the community and suggested the opportunity to foster employee interaction using the model of a village rather than a campus in order to provide an integrated area of services for employees. She said that the campus concept may result from a misplaced desire to save the existing landscape which was created in a different era for a different use, resulting in a master plan that is "less functional than it could be." Mr. Abdur-Rahman responded that the master plan is intended to achieve a balance between preservation and the modern programmatic needs, primarily for office space. Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked if alterations to features such as open space are forbidden; Mr. Abdur-Rahman responded that alterations to contributing historic elements are discouraged, although not forbidden, and he emphasized that GSA and DHS have legal responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act. He said that one of the planning principles is to rely on the surrounding neighborhoods, including the east campus, for some employee services, which will promote local development while reducing the impact of the project on the west campus. He noted the ongoing redevelopment in the area, bringing additional people to the community who would also benefit from neighborhood services.
Mr. McKinnell asked if the east campus would be surrounded by a security perimeter similar to that proposed for the west campus. Mr. Abdur-Rahman responded that only the portion of the east campus to be used by DHS would require security; he confirmed that DHS requires the highest level of security according to government standards, including a 100-foot setback. He said that the project team is coordinating with the D.C. government to reduce the impact of the security and to provide public retail and service amenities toward the periphery of the site. He also confirmed that the west campus would be encircled by a double fence line.
Genevieve Hanson of the D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development responded that the security on the east campus would be provided by a single fence, with an emphasis on an open campus setting that would include jobs, housing, and possibly education facilities. Ms. Hanson said that a memorandum of agreement is being finalized among the D.C. government, GSA, and DHS as part of the anticipated leasing of a portion of the east campus. She added that some historic buildings will remain on the east campus, possibly for collegiate or institutional use, and that the east campus could provide the integrated environment that Ms. Plater-Zyberk had suggested. Ms. Plater-Zyberk said that her concern includes how employees will move between the west campus and the east campus's amenities and potential Metro station. Mr. Abdur-Rahman said that such trips would generally be done by walking or using an internal shuttle rather than private vehicles. He explained that parking would be located near the access points around the perimeter of the west campus, which is advantageous in planning the security for the site. Within the campus, he said that all areas could be reached within a ten- to fifteen-minute walk, including the proposed DHS facilities on the east campus. Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked if employee trips between the east and west campuses would require exiting the security perimeter; Mr. Abdur-Rahman confirmed that employees would have to exit through one of the gates. Mr. Powell asked about the tunnel connection that was mentioned; Mr. Abdur-Rahman said that this feature is still being negotiated with the D.C. government, with the goal of providing a tunnel only as a means of avoiding the duplication of security screening rather than as a discouragement of employee use of the public amenities planned for the east campus; employee amenities would therefore not be provided in the tunnel nor in the DHS facilities on the east campus.
Mr. McKinnell said that he would only support the alternative that uses both the east and west campuses, commenting that it is far preferable to the other alternatives. He agreed with Ms. Plater-Zyberk's concerns about movement within the campus and commuting to it. He supported the reduction in the parking ratio but questioned how the commuting would occur and whether the proposed Metro station would actually be built. He also questioned the feasibility of walking as the primary means of circulation within the campus, commenting that a fifteen-minute walk in poor weather conditions is not viable; he said that if frequent movement among buildings is anticipated then an additional transportation proposal will be needed. He commented that the overall master plan is much improved from the previous submission, particularly the disposition of the elements and the attitude toward the site.
Ms. Nelson commented that bottlenecks would be likely at the entrance gates during employee arrival times, particularly due to the security screening. She suggested further consideration of this concern, with a possible solution of staggered work hours. Mr. Abdur-Rahman responded that the reduced parking ratio helps to address this problem; he said that DHS is considering transportation measures such as satellite parking, car pools, and shuttles to the Metro. He said that an access road is being designed to bring seventy percent of employees to the west campus without using Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue; and for traffic on the avenue, he said that the design team is coordinating with the D.C. government to create a left-turn lane which will mitigate potential traffic congestion at the gates. Mr. McKinnell asked whether the majority of employees would park toward the western edge of the campus to correspond with their entry point; Mr. Abdur-Rahman confirmed the general intention to have cars parked near the entrance point that is used. Mr. McKinnell said that many questions remain concerning the access, egress, security, and movement systems, and he requested further resolution of this at the next presentation. Mr. Abdur-Rahman said that the environmental impact statement deals extensively with transportation, as well as with the historic preservation issues of the campus.
Ms. Hanson added that the D.C. government has been working with the project team to study methods of promoting transit use, in addition to addressing private vehicle circulation; the methods considered include a shuttle, a pedestrian walkway, and a spur rail line or infill station. She said that the study would be developed further in the coming months. Mr. Abdur-Rahman mentioned an additional transportation opportunity of providing a connection to Suitland Parkway which is adjacent to the east campus; he said that this will be explored further.
Ms. Nelson asked if the general public would have any access to the west campus. Mr. Abdur-Rahman responded that the campus would be closed, as with other federal facilities. He acknowledged the request to provide public access to an area known as the Point, which has notable views of the city, and he said that a proposal is still being developed that would provide regularly scheduled public access to this location. Mr. McKinnell expressed support for such a proposal. Mr. Abdur-Rahman added that the public would have access to a historic cemetery toward the western edge of the campus.
Mr. Rybczynski commented that the three alternatives presented in the master plan are useful and clarify many issues: while each is a sensible alternative, they demonstrate that the planning gets more difficult as the size of the program increases. He said that it would be helpful to visualize the scale of the campus in relation to other large sites and suggested that the next presentation include graphic comparisons to the Pentagon site or a familiar university campus. He said that the proposal is conceptually equivalent to turning the Pentagon into a campus which is difficult to envision; the comparisons would provide a better sense of the distances involved and the feasibility of walking as the primary means of circulation within the campus. Mr. Powell and Ms. Plater-Zyberk supported the request for the graphic comparison. Ms. Plater-Zyberk reiterated her concern about 10,000 cars converging to the site in the rush hours; Mr. Abdur-Rahman responded that the number of cars would be closer to 3,500 due to the limited parking ratio and the varying shifts of some workers.
Chairman Powell summarized the Commission's consensus that the master plan has improved and that the alternative using both the east and west campuses would be preferable. Mr. Luebke asked what additional information would be needed for the forthcoming submission, including such topics as perimeter security. Mr. Abdur-Rahman said that the next submission would consolidate many topics that have been discussed in consultation meetings; he offered to work with the staff in refining the presentation to emphasize the topics that are most of interest to the Commission. Chairman Powell concluded by reiterating the Commission's request for a site visit in advance of the next review. The discussion concluded without a formal motion.
C. National Park Service
CFA 16/OCT/08-2, Potomac Park Levee Project. 17th Street, south of Constitution Avenue, N.W. Improvements to the flood protection levee system including a new floodgate across 17th Street. Information presentation. Mr. Luebke introduced the information presentation from the National Park Service on the effort to develop a design for a temporary closure structure in the levee opening across 17th Street within the National Mall. He explained that the existing levee system, completed in the late 1930s, relies on operational measures—including sandbags and the construction of earth barriers—to close the 17th Street gap. He explained that the Park Service must meet a November 2009 deadline set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to certify the adequacy of the levee system in accordance with new criteria. The Park Service has been working with various groups, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the D.C. government, and the staffs of the Commission and the National Capital Planning Commission, to find a suitable alignment and design. He said that the concept design, developed by the Olin Partnership, would be presented in November. He introduced Peter May, Associate Director for Lands, Resources, and Management with the National Capital Region of the National Park Service, to give the presentation.
Mr. May summarized the project, explaining that the Park Service is taking the lead because the levee lies on land under its administration. He presented the context of the levee's location and a map of the area that it protects from flooding, which includes the Federal Triangle, the Smithsonian museums, and federal, residential, and commercial areas in Southwest, making the levee a vital feature in the city even though little known. He explained that FEMA would publish maps showing this area as prone to flooding—resulting in problems with insurance, building codes, and development policies for private and public buildings in the area—unless the closure system is improved by November 2009. Ms. Nelson asked if this is a nationwide deadline; Mr. May responded that the deadline has been set in response to local circumstances.
Mr. May said the flood protection barrier includes high ground in some areas and also the constructed berm north of West Potomac Park's Reflecting Pool, which contains an embedded wall; he said that the berm is not noticed by many people within the context of the park. Locations for temporary closures within the line of the levee include 23rd Street, where sandbags could continue to be used for the slight additional height that would sometimes be needed, and across 17th Street where a higher closure must be provided between the West Potomac Park berm and the Washington Monument grounds. He explained that the current method for providing flood protection at 17th Street is to create a closure about eight feet high, using sandbags and an earthen dam constructed of soil taken from the Washington Monument grounds. He said that the Park Service would have about 48 hours notice of extremely high water levels, because severe flooding typically results from water rising in the upper Potomac watershed rather than from local rainfall. He noted that, since the levee system's construction in 1938, there has never been a need to construct the 17th Street closure; nevertheless, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined that this closure method is no longer considered reliable.
Mr. Rybczynski asked if the area south of the levee is susceptible to flooding. Mr. May confirmed that much of West Potomac Park can flood, and he said that memorials in this area are designed to allow for such flooding, which would nonetheless result in some damage. Mr. Powell asked what level of rising water would require protection across 17th Street. Glenn DeMarr of the National Park Service responded that a rise of four to five feet above high tide would require the additional closure, but the need could be influenced by other factors such as a strong wind coming from downstream. He said that a safety margin of three feet will also be included in the closure design.
Mr. May explained the complexity of the funding and scheduling of the project. Long-term improvements to the levee system have been under consideration by the Park Service and the Corps of Engineers for sixteen years, but the Corps has not been successful in obtaining funding for these improvements. He said that the Park Service is not seeking the funds because the levee system is not intended to protect Park Service property; the Corps would obtain funding for Washington's protection system that happens to be partially located on Park Service land. He said that the construction funding is now more likely to be approved; meanwhile, the Park Service is paying for the planning and initial design of improvements, and the D.C. government is contributing additional funds for design, engineering, and construction. He estimated that a permanent closure system would cost approximately $10 million but said that an initial solution for the closure could be achieved with a smaller budget. He said that the Park Service therefore intends to develop a concept design for the permanent closure system that will address all needs, including aesthetics; in the short term, however, the Park Service intends to install a utilitarian solution which will be presented for final approval in November so that it could be implemented by the 2009 deadline. The design for the permanent closure, along with the other planned improvements to the overall levee system, would be implemented when sufficient funding is approved.
Mr. May said that the Park Service is trying to reduce the impact of the project on cultural landscapes, views, historic structures, and the visitor experience while considering the long-term management needs of the system. Testing would occur annually for at least some components of the closure system, requiring the temporary closure of 17th Street. He presented maps of the nearby historic districts and cultural landscapes as well as historic maps that showed the location being originally under the Potomac River and, later, the site of a pier extending along the alignment of 17th Street; he said that special care would be taken during construction in case remnants of this pier remain beneath the street. He indicated the historic Lockkeeper's House close to the corner of 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, a reminder of the canal system that used to exist in this area
Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked how high the levee needs to rise above street level. Mr. May responded that it would rise approximately eight to nine feet, varying because 17th Street slopes down a few feet toward the World War II Memorial.
Mr. May presented conceptual diagrams of a post-and-panel system, explaining that use of such a system would require a continuous foundation that is either flat or stepped in flat sections. Posts in the form of I-beams would be placed into pockets within the foundation, and three- to four-foot-high panels would be stacked between posts. Other elements, such as gaskets, would ensure a tight closure. He added that the posts and panels would need to be stored nearby. Ms. Nelson asked about the material of the panels; Mr. May said they would typically be aluminum. Mr. Powell and Ms. Nelson commented on the straightforward nature of this system. Ms. Nelson asked whether it has been tested elsewhere; Mr. May responded that it is used in several European cities and in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and that the Park Service staff has investigated its appearance and function. Mr. Powell asked if 48 hours would still be needed to implement such a closure; Mr. May responded that this system could be put in place within a few hours, much faster than using earth-moving equipment. Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked about the structures shown as brown in the drawings; Mr. May confirmed that these represent the concrete framework for the system. Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked whether it is known what the visible portions of the structural system would look like. Mr. May said this has not yet been determined, but said a major consideration is that some parts would need to be plates where posts could be inserted, resulting in flat surfaces that could be clad or otherwise treated for an appropriate appearance.
Mr. Luebke noted that, while this is essentially a simple project to connect the pieces of the existing levee system, it is difficult to find a solution that would have the least impact on a highly sensitive landscape. For example, he said that some design solutions would include a vertical face where the panel system meets the earthen levee, raising the question of how the face's design would be treated. Mr. Powell emphasized that this is an important consideration in this sensitive area.
Mr. Rybczynski said that the closure system could be exciting, commenting that it may not need to be hidden but could be acknowledged as a "wonderful device" that offers protection to the city. Mr. May said that one design idea being explored is to acknowledge the levee system's function in controlling water and relate it to the historic role of the nearby Lockkeeper's House, using an overall theme of ongoing efforts to control the river that once occupied the site. Mr. Powell and Mr. McKinnell agreed with Mr. May that the project presents a design opportunity.
Mr. Luebke offered to arrange a site inspection for the Commission in November; Mr. Powell said that traffic can be difficult there and the site may already be familiar to the Commission members. The information presentation concluded without a formal motion.
D. Department of the Treasury / U.S. Mint
CFA 16/OCT/08-3, George W. Bush Bronze Presidential Medal for second term. Final. (Previous: CFA 19/SEP/02-3, first term.) Mr. Simon introduced the proposed design for a medal commemorating the second term of President George W. Bush. He explained that the U.S. Mint creates a medal for each presidential term, and the Commission reviewed Bush's first-term medal in 2002. He introduced Kaarina Budow of the Mint to present the design.
Ms. Budow provided the Commission members with past examples of presidential medals for their inspection: a three-inch-diameter medal from the first term of President Bush, along with a display book of miniature presidential medals from past administrations. Mr. Powell asked if these could be purchased by the public; Ms. Budow responded that both the large-size and miniature medals are offered for sale in bronze, after the large-size gold medal is presented to the president.
Ms. Budow gave a short history of past series of medallic issues, which are produced under the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury, and noted that the image of the president has been used on coins and medals issued by the Mint for over 200 years. She mentioned several series of medals, such as the Indian peace medals and presidential inaugural medals, as well as the presidential medal series that includes the current submission. She said that the practice of issuing second-term medals began with President Eisenhower. She then reviewed the important dates of Bush's life, governership of Texas, and presidency.
Ms. Budow next presented the design for the medal's obverse, showing the president in three-quarter profile with two stars representing his terms in office. The proposed reverse depicts the north facade of the White House with the inscription "Freedom can be resisted and freedom can be delayed, but freedom cannot be denied," a quote from a speech the president delivered in Prague in June 2007, and the text "Inaugurated January 20, 2005."
Ms. Nelson noted that the first-term medal includes the initials and signature of the artist, and asked whether these would be included on the new medal. Ms. Budow said these would be added when the medal is sculpted. Mr. Rybczynski commented that the quotation on the first-term medal also includes the date of the quote, which he said would be good to include on the new medal; Ms. Nelson agreed. Ms. Plater-Zyberk observed that the obverse portrait is unusual because it bleeds to the edge of the medal. Ms. Budow explained that this is a response to the administration's request to create a bold, dramatic image for the medal. Ms. Nelson asked how this design relates to the portrait of Thomas Jefferson on the recent redesign of the nickel. Ms. Budow said that Jefferson is similarly depicted in three-quarter profile; she explained that the bleeding of the design to the edge is more feasible in the production of medals than for circulating coins.
Upon a motion by Mr. Rybczynski with second by Mr. McKinnell, the Commission approved the design of the second-term medal. Ms. Nelson noted the lack of design alternatives for this proposal. Ms. Budow noted that, as with Congressional gold medals, the recipient—in this case, President Bush—had already reviewed a number of design alternatives and had chosen a preferred design.
E. Department of the Army
CFA 16/OCT/08-4, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. Columbarium addition, Phase V, Court 9. Concept. (Previous: CFA 18/OCT/01-3, Phase IV.) Mr. Lindstrom introduced the project for the last phase of the columbarium complex at Arlington National Cemetery. He explained that this phase is proposed to be slightly larger than the design shown in the 1977 master plan because of the pressing need for additional columbarium niches. He introduced Katherine Welton and Alan Eidsmore from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to present the project.
Ms. Welton, the project manager for all work by the Corps at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), reviewed the history of columbaria for cremation remains at the cemetery. Planning began in the early 1970s and the first columbarium phase was built in 1980. She said that cremation and columbarium use have become increasingly popular—in the last year, 64 percent of the cemetery's 6,904 funerals involved cremated remains—and the intention is to increase the number of niche spaces at the same rate as the number of in-ground burial spaces.
Ms. Welton said that staff from the Army Corps has been working with ANC staff to increase the number of columbarium niches in this phase while preserving the intimacy of the area. She estimated the completion year for the project as 2013 to 2015 depending on when construction funds become available.
Mr. Eidsmore, the head architect for the project, described the siting, layout, and landscaping of the complex, which is organized along an axis aligned with the Tomb of the Unknowns and the amphitheater to the west; he said that the axis has no further significance to the east, so this phase will provide the termination of the axis.
Mr. Eidsmore presented images of the existing portion of the columbarium complex; Mr. Luebke noted that the Commission had visited the site in the previous year. Mr. Eidsmore said that the proposed columbarium phase would share many elements with the earlier structures, explaining that the ANC superintendent wants to continue the existing design's simplicity. He described the overall organization of the complex, with pairs of open-air columbarium buildings framing a central court that includes two shelters for funeral ceremonies and an oval lawn. Each columbarium building features a meditative fountain court and free-standing niche walls, an organizing principle that will be continued in the single-building final phase. He said that the width of the proposed building would be the same as the consistent width used in the earlier phases, while the length would be much greater due to the final phase's position as the terminus of the axial composition. He indicated the mature landscaping of the earlier phases in the photographs and said that the same landscape design concept would be used for the final phase. Landscaping features and variation in the niche walls would be provided to relieve the extreme length of this phase. He said that the proposed niche walls would use the same materials as the earlier phases: a concrete internal structure for the niches, limestone cladding, pre-cast concrete coping, and granite bases; the niches would be covered by marble faces affixed with rosettes. The exterior walls would have a battered limestone profile and would be edged with planting beds. The pavers would be flagstone in a variety of rust and gray colors, matching the materials used throughout the cemetery. He said that the final phase would front a roadway through the columbarium complex; street trees would be provided, and a small plaza area would be created at the entrance to the new columbarium building. The final phase would also include bathrooms to support the people using this area of the cemetery, which is a substantial distance from other bathroom facilities.
Ms. Nelson asked if the new phase would include an additional location for holding funeral services. Mr. Eidsmore said that the two existing ceremony shelters would remain in use. Ms. Welton clarified that these shelters are used for the funerals of the eligible military service members, while ceremonies for the next-of-kin occur immediately adjacent to the wall containing the family's niche. She said that the two existing shelters are intended to support the needs of the entire columbarium complex.
Mr. Powell commended the straightforward nature of the design and recommended that the concept be approved. Mr. Rybczynski asked for confirmation that the detailing of the existing phases would be continued; Mr. Eidsmore responded that the only change in the design of this phase will be the elimination of the quarter-circles of limestone used in the corners of the low walls surrounding the courtyards, due to the discoloration of this stone that has occurred in the earlier phases where it extends to the ground. Other modifications from earlier phases are relatively minor such as the selection of mortar grout.
Upon a motion by Mr. Powell with second by Ms. Nelson, the Commission approved the concept for the project. Mr. Luebke asked if the Commission would like to delegate the final approval to the staff since the design issues appear to have been resolved well. Ms. Nelson said that the Commission would not need to see the final design unless it includes big changes. Mr. Powell agreed and included this delegation as part of the motion for approval.
At the lunch break, Mr. Powell departed the meeting and Vice-Chairman Nelson chaired the remainder of the meeting.
F. District of Columbia Public Schools
CFA 16/OCT/08-5, Howard D. Woodson Senior High School, 5500 Eads Street, N.E. Replacement building. Revised concept. (Previous: CFA 19/JUN/08-8.) Mr. Simon summarized the Commission's previous review, including concerns with the entrance areas and elevations of the proposed new building. He introduced architect Chester Bartels of the SHW Group and landscape architect Marsha Lea of EDAW to present the project.
Mr. Bartels reminded the Commission of the project's context, including the adjacent Marvin Gaye Park, the existing school building that will be demolished, and the adjacent site of a planned mixed-use development project at the intersection of Division Avenue and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue. He said that the proposed building would be located on the same general area of the site as the current building; the remainder of the site would be used for playing fields and staff parking. He explained that students would generally walk to the site from the surrounding neighborhood, with many walking through the linear path system of Marvin Gaye Park, or would arrive by bus at a bus stop near the main entrance. He described the potential for many active uses in the area on a weekend: a school football game, a nearby outdoor farmer's market, and a performance in the proposed amphitheater in the park at the edge of the school grounds.
Mr. Bartels indicated the proposed main entrance on the east along 55th Street and the vehicular entrance further north. On the south side of the site, Eads Street is a dead-end street separating the school from the park; although the street cannot be closed, the goal is to treat it with a pedestrian character to relate to the park and its trail system, and to use the street as part of a one-way system of service access for the school.
Ms. Lea, a recent addition to the design team for the school, reminded the Commission of her presentation of the Marvin Gaye Park design the previous year. She said that various D.C. agencies are implementing components of the park: the D.C. Department of Transportation has installed the bike trail that extends the two-mile length of the park, and the D.C. Department of the Environment will undertake the restoration of Watts Branch which flows through the park. She explained that an overall goal of the park design was to improve connections between the park and several adjacent schools, and she indicated several features of the park that relate to Woodson High School: the proposal for a park entrance area at Division Street, immediately west of the school; the proposed amphitheater southwest of the school; and an environmental monitoring station to the south, which could be used as part of the curriculum. She said that existing fencing between the park and the school grounds would be removed where possible, such as by relocating the school's fenced tennis courts to the northwestern portion of the site, in order to emphasize continuity of the open space. She said that fenced facilities would include the football field and soccer field as well as the tennis courts; in addition, the softball field would have a removable fence.
Ms. Lea described the landscape design for the courtyards to the east and west of the main entrance lobby as well as the additional entrance area on the north side of the school. She said that the east courtyard would be the primary entrance area, with some students also arriving at the west courtyard which would primarily serve as an extension of the adjacent cafeteria. She said that the landscape design emphasizes sustainable design features as part of the effort to achieve silver LEED certification for the project; for example, the east and west courtyards would contain rain gardens that would use rainwater collected from the school's roof, and highly visible locations for bicycle racks have been designated near the entrances, with the goal of accommodating seventy bikes. Additional bicycle racks would be located near the athletic facilities and the park's bicycle trail. The west courtyard, related to the cafeteria, would emphasize an edible landscape of vegetable and herb gardens and an orchard, cafeteria tables under a covered awning, the rain gardens, and possibly a cistern. She said that the paths leading to all of the entrances are intended to align with pedestrian approach routes.
Mr. Bartels emphasized the importance of "connecting students with the site" and said that the two directions of access to the main entrance lobby are typical of traditional high school designs. He indicated the administrative offices adjacent to the east courtyard, providing a sense of security to this entrance and gathering area, with a similarly secure environment for the west courtyard which would serve as a recreational space during the school day. He described the main entrance lobby, a two-story glassy atrium space with the media center placed as an object within it.
Mr. Bartels described the development of the elevations: the end of the three-story wing immediately south of the east courtyard is proposed to step back and reveal a glass-enclosed staircase with internal lighting and the school's identifying signage, providing emphasis to the main entrance at the courtyard; additional display of student activities could also be incorporated at this area. Further north along 55th Street, the large classrooms for performing arts would be expressed with a refined rhythm of windows that would relate to the east courtyard and the glass-enclosed staircase beyond; he also indicated the shade trees proposed for the east courtyard. He said that the scale and design vocabulary of the east facade would relate to the small homes across 55th Street, reinforced by the arcade and canopy at the entrance area. He explained that the building materials would remain as previously presented, including cast stone and polished stone. Mr. McKinnell asked for clarification of the location of each building material; Mr. Bartels indicated the different types of stone and said that recessed courses would be used to create a base and modulate the wall vertically. The polished stone would be a more costly material to be used sparingly, such as to create a base around the building and to emphasize special locations.
Mr. Bartels described the revision of the south elevation in response to the Commission's comments, with the intention of reducing the incorrect impression that it contains a main entrance. The new proposal expresses the classroom areas at each side with cast stone, aluminum composite panels, and bay windows, and weaves together the design vocabulary of the classrooms in the treatment of the facade's central portion. The building's two primary north-south circulation corridors would be expressed as "glassy nodes" on the facade, providing a view of the park through floor-to-ceiling glass from the corridors. A secondary entrance in this area would provide access to the south terrace and the park, adjacent to a teacher planning area that would provide a sense of security for the doorway. Ms. Nelson expressed support for the view of trees that would result from this facade design. Mr. Bartels added that the building could be opened up to the south terrace for special community events such as art shows. During the school day, the south doorway would provide students from science classes with convenient access to the park.
Mr. Bartels described additional facade details, including sunscreens, fritted glass, spandrel glass, and steel channels which would serve as lintels. The composition of the facades would emphasize the assemblage of the various materials.
Ms. Nelson said the presentation showed "thoughtful work" and expressed appreciation for the design revisions. She commented that student lunches tend to be hurried and questioned the usefulness of features such as the edible garden, expressing hope for its success while characterizing it as "idealistic." She noted the requested approval of the revised concept and confirmed that the subsequent submission of a final design would include material samples.
Mr. Rybczynski said that the Commission has previously provided extensive comments and questioned whether additional comments would result in any further revisions. He said that the design is well articulated but includes complex construction and extensive joints. Mr. Bartels agreed that the detailing needs to be carefully resolved and durably constructed; he said that further resolution of these issues would be covered in the next submission. Mr. Rybczynski emphasized the need to simplify, characterizing the proposed design as introducing needless complication and contrasting it with the simplicity of traditional high schools built of brick and limestone. He acknowledged that this recommendation is different than the direction that the design has taken.
Mr. McKinnell agreed with Mr. Rybczynski's concern, commenting that the design might improve as a result of the value engineering process. Ms. Plater-Zyberk suggested that the response to value engineering should be to reserve the more complex articulation for the more important components of the building such as the main entrance; Mr. McKinnell agreed and suggested that the courtyard landscapes would also be an important feature to retain in the design.
Ms. Nelson asked for further information about lighting of the school and the park, and she questioned the appearance of the proposed temporary fencing. Ms. Lea said that the fence would be moveable so that it could be relocated around the practice field, and it would not have the appearance of temporary fencing. Mr. Bartels added the goal of limiting permanent fencing to the stadium in order to protect the field and control access to ticketed patrons, while allowing the practice fields to be perceived as continuous with the park. Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked for clarification of the proposed location of street trees; Ms. Lea confirmed that some are omitted from the renderings for illustrative purposes.
Upon a motion by Ms. Plater-Zyberk with second by Mr. McKinnell, the Commission approved the revised concept design. Ms. Nelson reiterated that the next submission should include detailed information about the selection of materials and the method of combining them on the facades.
G. District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
1. Old Georgetown Act
O.G. 08-11 (H.P.A. 08-094), Georgetown Park (shopping mall), 3270 M Street, N.W. Alterations and additions for a mixed-use residential/retail building. Concept. Ms. Barsoum said that the Old Georgetown Board has reviewed this project four times, beginning in December 2007; during the first three of these reviews, one of the three Board members had recused herself due to involvement in another component of the Georgetown Park redevelopment. She noted the site inspection by the Commission members earlier in the day, including a walk through the surrounding area to gain an understanding of the context for the project. She summarized the overall project scope of adding four stories and a mechanical penthouse to the existing building, which will be reclad. She introduced architect Shalom Baranes of Shalom Baranes Associates to present the proposal.
Mr. Baranes described the project's position at the western end of the large Georgetown Park development complex extending eastward to Wisconsin Avenue. The development, dating from the 1970s, includes a 500,000-square-foot shopping mall as well as residential condominiums. The current proposal to redevelop the western portion of the mall [a later phase dating from the 1980s] would extend the development's arrangement of providing condominiums above the retail space. He said that the mall has not done well over the past ten years, with many vacant stores and a declining clientele, despite the location in the middle of Georgetown. He said that the owner's intention is to introduce a major anchor tenant at the western end along with the additional condominiums above, and to renovate the interior of the entire mall, possibly resulting in the introduction of another major anchor store at the eastern end to create a traditional shopping mall configuration of anchor stores at each end.
Mr. Rybczynski said that the Commission did not visit the interior of the mall and asked for further information. Mr. Baranes explained that the mall is four stories in height, much of it placed underground; he said that its large size is surprising in the middle of Georgetown. He clarified that his firm is involved only with the current submission for the proposed redevelopment of the western portion of Georgetown Park, while the intended renovation of the remainder of the mall would be a separate project.
Mr. Baranes said that the architecture of the existing complex is somewhat unusual for Georgetown, characterizing the style as neo-Norman and observing that the complex does not have the "fine grain" of buildings elsewhere in the neighborhood. He said that the current proposal includes recladding the existing building with a skin that is more sympathetic to the adjacent buildings.
Mr. Baranes indicated the pedestrian walkway immediately west of the site, describing it as a very popular location with many people eating outdoors. He indicated the Dean & DeLuca food store to the west which activates the pedestrian area. He explained that the floor level of Georgetown Park in this area is four feet above the pedestrian walkway, preventing the stores on the eastern side of the walkway from relating to the activity of the plaza; he said that the proposed renovation will address this problem. He indicated the existing conditions of the south end of the pedestrian walkway, including the trash area for Dean & DeLuca, an entrance to the Georgetown Park garage, and a tower overlooking the C & O Canal to the south with a pedestrian bridge; he said that the proposal includes changing this area into a more inviting space. He presented additional views of the tower, which he described as massive and windowless with the backs of shops along the canal; the new proposal would open up this area and add residential windows overlooking the canal. He said that much of the wall along the canal is historic, with other portions built in the 1970s; the proposal is to leave the wall mostly intact and locate the new construction behind it.
Mr. Baranes presented views of the site from M Street, including illustrations of the proposed design. He emphasized the introduction of more glass and the articulation of the retail entrances on the facade. He said that the proposed height along M Street is intended to relate to, although not exactly match, the height of the buildings to each side. Turning the corner onto the pedestrian walkway, the facade would step down and would be clad in terra cotta to relate to the Dean & DeLuca building. The proposed multi-level anchor store's entrance is marked by a glass tower with display windows; there is also a corner entrance for an existing retail tenant whose lease remains in effect. He described the proposal to remove the slab on the west side for a depth of ten feet and replace it with a slab at the level of the adjacent pedestrian walkway to provide cafes that would serve outdoor tables, resulting in activation of both sides of the walkway. Additional retail space would face the south end of the walkway.
Mr. Baranes presented the proposed new lobby facade for the residential portion at the rear of the building. The corner at the south end of the pedestrian walkway would be notched to reveal the glass lobby, creating an inviting element that would be seen by people crossing the pedestrian bridge. He presented an aerial view illustrating the proposed apartments in relation to the existing apartments above the shopping mall to the east; the proposed design would retain the pattern of setting back the upper-floor apartments from the street facades of the lower levels, reducing the visibility of the apartments from nearby vantage points. He described the curving glass and metal curtainwall of the apartments, contrasting with the terra cotta lower facade along the walkway; the residential lobby would be the only place where the glass and metal vocabulary would reach the ground level. He also indicated the addition of extensive apartment and retail windows overlooking the canal.
Mr. Baranes indicated the existing service entrance along M Street that would remain. He said that it is screened only by a gate that is generally not closed; the intention is to work with an artist to redesign the gate and to reduce the visibility of trucks and trash from M Street, an important concern. He provided further details of the proposed facades, emphasizing the choice of terra cotta rather than brick. He explained that the plane of glass would be recessed from the terra cotta by twelve to sixteen inches, and pieces of terra cotta would extend across the glass; he characterized the proposal as a rich facade with a muted glow from the retail space within.
Mr. Baranes presented views toward the project from distant locations, acknowledging the concern about its visibility. He demonstrated that the project would be slightly visible from some vantage points along Key Bridge, and not visible from other places along this entrance route to Georgetown nor from other distant vantage points. He said that the mechanical space in the project would be kept low, without requiring a large penthouse, and noted that the silhouette of the proposed design would be consistent with nearby building heights and slightly below that of the swimming pool construction that was recently added to the top of a nearby condominium building. Mr. Baranes concluded by offering to present further details of the curtain wall, metal work, and paving, which he said was all presented previously to the Old Georgetown Board.
Ms. Nelson asked if a view is available from the vantage point of a car driving eastward on M Street from Key Bridge. Mr. Baranes returned to a closer view from the east along M Street but said that a more distant view from the west has not been prepared. He indicated the portions of the building along M Street that would be visible from the west, adding that visibility from the east would be limited because the project steps back from an adjacent tall building. Ms. Nelson commented that the building would be most imposing when seen from the canal and walkway. Mr. Baranes explained that the existing building has a mansard roof and tower that are taller than the proposed construction, so the project would generally result in lower heights along pedestrian areas; the taller proposed volumes would be stepped back in ways that reduce their visibility. Mr. McKinnell questioned this interpretation in comparison to the drawings; Mr. Baranes clarified that the height of the M Street facade would be taller than the existing building's facade, and would instead rise directly to approximately the level of the ridge line of the existing building's sloped roof. He reiterated that the proposed facade along the pedestrian walkway, the subject of Ms. Nelson's question, would be lower than the existing facade.
Ms. Nelson asked if a similar glass-skinned apartment complex would be added to the eastern end of Georgetown Park in the future. Mr. Baranes responded that this is not anticipated; he explained that different portions of Georgetown Park are on separate lots, and this western lot is the only piece that is not built to the allowable limits of zoning. He said that the construction of additional mass in the other portions of the mall would therefore only be possible if the property were re-zoned, which he characterized as unlikely. Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked if the Georgetown neighborhood has additional restrictions, such as on building heights, beyond those applicable to the remainder of the city. Mr. Baranes said that the normal District-wide zoning limits on height and floor-area ratios are applicable. Mr. Luebke clarified that the Commission could impose additional limitations through the review process, pursuant to the Old Georgetown Act.
Ms. Plater-Zyberk said that during the site inspection Commission members expressed concern about such development constraints and about the potential precedent for other large parcels that might be assembled in the area. She said that this project includes two very different contexts: along M Street, where there is a historic fine grain of individual buildings, and along the canal, where larger buildings follow a wider pattern of building widths. She said that the Commission members welcomed the opportunity to improve on the current facade, which she characterized as monolithic; nonetheless, she questioned the choice to treat the facade as a decorative surface and instead recommended a clearer massing in which the articulation reflects the uses of the building. She acknowledged that the overall building would be larger than the existing one but suggested that the mass be concealed by independently articulating the anchor store, the other tenant space, and the residential area above. She said that the proposed design treats the building as many pieces which nonetheless give the appearance of a single block that is relatively massive; she gave the example of the residential lobby where a piece of the glass skin is exposed at ground level as the brick facade pulls back.
Mr. Baranes responded that the design was intended to follow the strategy she was describing, with the residential portion of the building expressed differently than the retail portion. He said that articulating the retail tenant spaces separately could be problematic because the size and configuration of the tenants could change over time as leases expire; the design of the retail area is therefore intended to provide flexibility and the potential for additional retail entrances. Ms. Plater-Zyberk commented that a large retail store elsewhere in Georgetown would be expected to combine space from several buildings, retaining the historic scale of the neighborhood while providing for a large use; she said that the emphasis in the proposed design should be on expressing the scale of the street context rather than expressing the interior configuration of the building. Mr. Rybczynski added that the overall Georgetown Park mall apparently follows this strategy, with a large interior shopping mall concealed within an assemblage of buildings at varying scales; he agreed with Ms. Plater-Zyberk that this design approach would be useful to pursue.
Mr. McKinnell questioned Mr. Baranes' assertion that the proposed design is a direct expression of the building's uses, noting that the design for the M Street facade is a carefully designed formal composition but is not a direct expression of the interior. He said that the proposed facade incorporates a design choice to respond to the conditions of the large real estate development within rather than respond to the grain of the existing street wall along M Street. He agreed with Ms. Plater-Zyberk that the priority should be reversed and the grain of the street should be the primary consideration in the facade design.
Mr. Baranes responded that other buildings in the vicinity, both new and historic, have a comparable scale; he offered the example of Urban Outfitters, further east along M Street, which he said is of similar or greater width. Mr. Luebke said that the Urban Outfitters store is in a single-story building approximately twenty feet high. Mr. Baranes offered additional examples, including the contrasting situation of a recently built retail structure, also further east along M Street, that was designed to appear as several separate town houses; when a single retail tenant occupied the entire space, as anticipated, most of the party walls were removed. He said that the resulting impression of a single retailer across multiple buildings is unsettling, particularly when seen at night. Ms. Barsoum offered the Commission members a book of photographs showing building facades along M Street; the Urban Outfitters store was included while the grouping of four new facades was not yet constructed at the time of the photographs.
Ms. Nelson acknowledged that there are large buildings toward the waterfront in Georgetown. She said that the proposed residential construction resembles a ship, perhaps due to the curved facade, but the ship is sitting on top of another building; she expressed concern that the design would set a precedent for more glass "ships" on top of other buildings in the area. Mr. Baranes asked if the concern is scale or material; Ms. Nelson said that the large scale appears to be the problem. Mr. Baranes responded that the proposed building would be consistent with the character of others along the canal, which he characterized as an area with a heroic scale, and would introduce a finer grain than is provided by the existing construction. Mr. McKinnell acknowledged that the existing building is unattractive and agreed that a heroic scale might be appropriate for the facade along the canal; he questioned the appropriateness of breaking up this facade, which he said would be inconsistent with the canal's industrial scale, but he said that this scale should not be used along M Street. He added that his concerns related to the entire composition of the project.
Ms. Nelson commented on the importance of the building's relationship to the historic market to the west and commended the effort to add more activity at the walkway. Ms. Plater-Zyberk said that the residential entrance would be an improvement over the existing conditions; Ms. Nelson agreed, emphasizing the additional benefit of improving what is now the garbage area.
Ms. Nelson again raised the question of the large scale of the proposal. Ms. Plater-Zyberk said that part of the problem along M Street is the gap in the street wall for the service entrance to the east of the proposed anchor store; she said that a building facade rather than a hanging gate would be more appropriate for filling this void. She also questioned the proposed additional height rising directly along the canal, commenting that other tall buildings along the canal have a stepped profile that mitigates their height. She said that the residential entrance reaches the ground as a fragment of the glass residential facade; she suggested that it have its own base or be articulated as a separate building rather than treated as part of a system of multiple skins sliding across each other. She added that the glass residential portion of the project would tend to be understood in the urban context as a separate building from the retail volume below, and this difference should be expressed more clearly. Ms. Nelson agreed, commenting that the proposed design treats the residential portion as an appendage on top of a box; she said articulation as separate buildings might provide a more appropriate sense of scale.
Mr. Baranes asked for clarification of the guidance. Ms. Plater-Zyberk said that the curved glass facade slides behind the masonry facade immediately north of the residential entrance, providing only a glimpse of the residential component, rather than establishing a separate presence; the result is that the great length of the masonry facade is emphasized. She said that the issue is to treat the design as an articulation of masses rather than as a single mass with sliding and extrusion of surfaces. Mr. Baranes asked if some adjustments to the location of facade materials would address the concern; Ms. Plater-Zyberk reiterated that the massing needs further study. Mr. Rybczynski said that facade adjustments would be helpful; he commented that the architectural context consists of boxes, but this proposal emphasizes facades, and he supported the treatment of the residential portion as a glass box rather than emphasizing glass facades. Ms. Plater-Zyberk and Mr. Rybczynski agreed that the issue is articulation of the building forms as skins or surfaces rather than as volumes.
Ms. Plater-Zyberk commented that the large mass of the project would be more acceptable if it is perceived as including one building behind another or several different buildings; she emphasized the importance of understanding the project as volumes seen in perspective. Mr. Luebke asked for clarification of the Commission's concern about the curving glass volume set on the brick volume below, and asked if the Commission recommends integrating these forms; he also asked them to clarify if the proposed height and setbacks are acceptable. Ms. Nelson suggested integrating the glass facade with the canal elevation rather than trying to hide the glass mass above; she also emphasized the need to improve the treatment of the service entrance on M Street. Ms. Plater-Zyberk said that the proposed massing along the canal is appropriate to that context; the taller glass building is also appropriate but has the appearance of slipping behind the brick surface; a third volume extends from the canal to M Street; and a fourth volume fronts M Street. She said that this series of volumes could be successful if more clearly expressed; for instance, she recommended that the glass volume be articulated as an independent building that comes directly to the ground.
Mr. McKinnell expressed dissatisfaction with the stepping back of the brick volumes which gives unwanted emphasis to the combination of brick and glass masses; he recommended simplification of the design. He said that the proposal to use terra cotta rather than brick is exacerbating the problem of excessive emphasis on the facade surface; he described the appropriate use of terra cotta in highlighting the structural elements behind the facade, while brick is better suited to a volume that comes down to the ground. He also commented that the project's underlying problems arise from the insertion of an interior shopping mall and a large anchor store into an urban context, which results in a clash of scales; he acknowledged that this problem would not be resolved. He expressed support for the general concept of a smaller scale along M Street and a larger scale along the canal, commenting that this contrast would create the drama that could result in an excellent design.
Mr. Baranes asked if this contrast could be perceived as parts of a single building rather than as separate buildings; Mr. McKinnell said that a single-building composition could be successful. He said that the transition in scales could be expressed along the facade facing Dean & DeLuca; he noted that the proposed facade is at the same height as the existing building, not lower as was stated in the presentation, and he suggested that this facade could include taller elements that anticipate the scale of the building along the canal. He emphasized his enthusiasm for the richness of the site and the contrast in environments along its edges, including the busy high-traffic street and the calmness of the canal. He said that these conditions could inform the building design but the current design appears to be various buildings jammed into each other. He commented on Mr. Baranes' strength as an architect and encouraged him to develop the design further.
Mr. Baranes agreed to pursue the direction suggested by Mr. McKinnell but said that this might conflict with some of the other guidance offered by the Commission. Ms. Nelson said that her concern with the scale could be addressed by more clearly expressing the glass residential volume as a building rather than giving it the appearance of a large roof ornament.
Mr. Rybczynski suggested a consensus to support the concept of a glass box set back within the block, with no objection to the proposed height or materials; Ms. Nelson and Ms. Plater-Zyberk agreed. Ms. Nelson said that her dissatisfaction was with the appearance of the project when seen at close proximity rather than the more distant views in which the building appears to be generally part of Georgetown.
Mr. Baranes said that the Commission members have given conflicting guidance: to express the varying scales within a building that is unified along the length of the site, perhaps with a more unified palette of materials; or to organize the project as having the appearance of separate buildings. Mr. McKinnell said that the building could express the contrasting scale conditions within a single cohesive building, without requiring the architectural expression of a glass volume that is separate from a masonry volume. He said that the architectural concept could be developed further by the architect, emphasizing that his guidance is intended to suggest an urbanistic attitude rather than a specific proposal for design and detailing. Ms. Plater-Zyberk summarized the view that the building's response to its rich context could be expressed as a unified building with unified materials, or as design that is articulated as several buildings. She said that the current proposal gives the confusing impression of "a building that has swallowed another building." Mr. McKinnell, agreed comparing the proposal to a "boa constrictor that has swallowed the cat." He emphasized his agreement with Mr. Rybczynski's conclusion that the overall mass of the building can be accommodated on the site, despite an expectation before the site inspection that the size would be problematic.
Ms. Nelson summarized the consensus that the applicant should submit a revised concept; Mr. Luebke noted that a revised submission would first be reviewed by the Old Georgetown Board which would take the Commission's guidance into consideration. Mr. Baranes emphasized that the project has been submitted to the Board for multiple reviews but is now being given new guidance by the Commission. He asked if the process of multiple reviews by the Board could be shortened in order to avoid extensive work that would be rejected by the Commission; he suggested a single additional presentation to the Board followed by further review by the Commission. Mr. Luebke said that the established process does not provide for this, and he emphasized the need for the design team to develop a project that the Board is able to recommend to the Commission; he emphasized that all projects subject to the Board's review follow this procedure.
Mr. McKinnell asked if it would be possible for the Commission to review the next submission directly and then return the project to the Board. Mr. Luebke said that the Commission could vote to provide this direction, which has occurred with other projects, but it would be different from the normal procedure; he said that such a procedure had occurred with the House of Sweden which was reviewed directly by the Commission in its later stages. Ms. Plater-Zyberk and Mr. Rybczynski supported Mr. McKinnell's proposal. Ms. Plater-Zyberk added that the Board's review of the project has been problematic due to the recusal of one Board member; Mr. Luebke noted that the composition of the Board has changed recently. Mr. Rybczynski said that the Board has given support to the general concept of the project, and the Commission is not recommending any drastic changes but only wants the architect to return with a response to the issues raised by the Commission. Mr. Luebke said that the Commission could choose to direct the staff on a special procedure to follow for further review of this project.
Ms. Plater-Zyberk offered a motion to request that a revised submission be submitted directly to the Commission for the next review. Ms. Nelson said that this unusual process should be treated as a one-time decision rather than as a general precedent. The Commission agreed to support the procedure stated by Ms. Plater-Zyberk.
2. Shipstead-Luce Act
S.L. 08-137 (H.P.A. 08-512), Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, S.E. Signs and replacement windows. Concept. Ms. Batcheler presented the project from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a 1932 structure designed by Paul Cret. This project is the first phase of a scheduled program of improvements and has two proposed components: replacement of the facade windows and construction of signage towers in front of the main façade on East Capitol Street. She introduced architect Garth Rockcastle of Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, who introduced his associate on the project, Stephen Bellairs.
Mr. Rockcastle summarized the rehabilitation plan as a whole. The current phase includes about a third of the total work, including the components which the Folger determined were most critical to fostering public recognition of their exhibits and theater programs. Other portions of the rehabilitation will primarily involve the interior, with accessibility improvements also including an exterior lift at the theater entrance. He said that Cret's design focused more on the research purpose of the institution than on public use of the theater and exhibition hall; he and Mr. Bellairs also noted a suggestion by some scholars that noted architect Louis Kahn, then working in Cret's office, may have been involved in the design of the Folger.
Mr. Rockcastle presented photographs of the exhibition hall, the building's surroundings, and the rear facade which has an infill structure for offices designed by Hartman Cox Architects. He said the exhibition hall has always faced difficulties with lighting. The original windows, manufactured by Hope's Windows Inc., allowed sunlight to damage paper objects on display. The building's high humidity also presents a problem: the original windows were single panes set in steel frames, allowing moisture to condense. Various methods to protect exhibits and windows have been tried, including velvet curtains and the installation of drains in the window frames to collect condensation, but have not been satisfactory. The most recent attempt to solve this problem was the installation of opaque faux stained-glass polycarbonate panels which prevent any natural light from entering the hall, resulting in a "tomb-like" character. He said that different types of glass are now available that will provide ultraviolet protection while allowing daylight into the room, so the polycarbonate panels will be removed. He described the decorative cast-aluminum screens that are affixed on the exterior, outside the original Hope's windows; they largely hide the windows from view and prevent access for maintenance, resulting in rusting of the windows.
Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked if the windows were originally steel-colored or had always been brown; Mr. Rockcastle and Mr. Bellairs responded that they believed the windows had been dark gray or black, and are now missing most of their paint because of the extensive corrosion.
Mr. Rockcastle and Mr. Bellairs presented a series of historic drawings at various scales showing the design of the windows, as well as current drawings and photos of the windows. Mr. Bellairs noted the surprising finding that there is no relation between the divisions of the decorative screens and those of the windows themselves. The architects described the dimensions and divisions of the windows, which have operable vents that may never have been used. The existing window frames are deeper than would be expected in a 1930s steel window, even though the Hope's windows were known for their slender profiles.
Mr. Rockcastle and Mr. Bellairs presented two alternatives for replacement of the exhibition hall windows. One alternative is a steel-frame window using commercially available technology; this would include thermal panes with an ultraviolet coating and would nearly match the existing frame profile and depth. Mr. Rockcastle said that Hope's is developing this alternative but has not been able to incorporate a thermally-broken frame, so this alternative is not recommended. The second alternative is an aluminum frame which will provide the desired thermal break but will vary from the original dimensions, with a slightly narrower profile and a half-inch greater depth. He said that the narrower profile might be more consistent with the original intention of the exterior design in which the aluminum screens are the prominent feature, commenting that the windows should provide a "neutral background to the screens." Mr. Bellairs noted their consideration of an additional alternative to refurbish the existing frames, but the surface corrosion and potential additional concealed corrosion make this unlikely to be feasible, and the single-pane framing system would have to be altered to accommodate a thicker thermal pane. Mr. Rockcastle said that the replacement windows would follow the pattern of panes in the original but proposed omitting the operable vents because careful interior climate control is necessary for the protection of the exhibits. He concluded by reiterating their recommendation for the aluminum-frame replacement windows due to the advantage of the thermally broken frame.
Mr. Rybczynski asked if the aluminum frames could be manufactured with additional thickness to match the existing window profiles, commenting that the Commission's primary interest is whether the windows can be replaced with identical windows. Mr. Rockcastle responded that custom profiles for the aluminum frames could be requested, probably for a relatively small price increase, if the Commission prefers an exact match. However, he said that the original profiles were probably wide because the window included the operable vents, requiring larger frames; the elimination of these vents in the new windows provides the opportunity to use a thinner profile and bring more daylight into the exhibition hall, which is a current design goal.
Ms. Plater-Zyberk asked for clarification of the different glass that could be accommodated in the alternative window designs. Mr. Bellairs responded that the steel-framed alternative is designed to hold one-inch-thick insulated glass panes but not laminated glass panes, whereas the aluminum-framed alternative could accommodate the thicker laminated glass because the depth of the thermal break can be adjusted. Mr. Rockcastle added that only the laminated glass has the ultraviolet filter, which he confirmed is an important issue in the design. Mr. Bellairs added that another important issue is minimizing the need for maintenance, because the exterior decorative screens make access difficult; he added that the screens would not be altered in the project but would be temporarily removed to provide access for replacement of the windows.
Mr. Rockcastle summarized the advantages and disadvantages of the recommended alternative of the aluminum-framed window: it has a narrow profile—which could be enlarged to match the existing—along with improved seals, a thermally-broken frame, and the capacity for laminated glass that should be maintenance-free for fifteen years; the only disadvantage of this alternative is the deeper thickness. Mr. McKinnell commented that such added depth is very noticeable when old windows are replaced with new. Mr. Rockcastle said that the effect of narrowing the elevation profile while increasing the depth would be an overall visual impression similar to the existing windows; he reiterated that the additional depth involved is half an inch.
Ms. Plater-Zyberk and Ms. Nelson supported the aluminum-framed alternative for the windows. Mr. McKinnell commented that the frame size should be considered three-dimensionally; he suggested that the architects make a full-scale model of the mullion to compare on site with the original, and if the architects were then satisfied, he would be also. Mr. Bellairs said that the manufacturer of the aluminum frame has offered to provide a sample, and Mr. Rockcastle agreed to provide the Commission with a photograph of the proposed frame on site. The Commission then voted to approve the concept of the aluminum replacement windows with fixed panes.
The Commission then considered the proposal for banners and supports along East Capitol Street. Mr. Rockcastle presented photos and renderings of the building's surroundings, particularly of the north façade and the lawn area in front. He said that the street trees in this block are about eight years old and are slow-growing; one elevation illustrated their projected maximum growth. He noted that the property line between the Folger and the public right-of-way along East Capitol Street runs behind the retaining wall. He said that the architects had considered new signage on the face of the building and concluded that this would not be acceptable, nor would any signage near the facade within the property line. They concluded that the site selected, in front of the retaining wall and within the public right-of-way, would not detract from the facade design.
Mr. Rockcastle described the factors considered in developing the proposed design. He said that the architects examined changes made to the building over the years, particularly the addition on the south by Hartman Cox, which they said respected the original building in detailing and modulation. The architects considered structures of various heights to get the correct scale in relation to the building and to gather enough sunlight on the solar cells at the top to power the lights. The architects also studied the decorative program of the building and its symbolism of themes from Shakespeare's era and his works; however, they did not want to derive anything directly from motifs used on the building. He said that the initial intention was to treat the signs as background structures but the design evolved to more strongly evoke "the sensibilities that Cret and this Shakespearean tradition might be able to support." He said that the architects were interested in the idea of "iconography being performative"—a design that would harvest daylight to cast a soft LED lighting on the banners that could symbolize a small carbon footprint while also being richly expressive. Identifying a harvest theme in the building's decorative program, the architects developed a design for supports conceived as stalks, bundled together like a sheaf of wheat; the slightly irregular supports would terminate in photovoltaic cells, recalling seed pods, that would be oriented to the south. Triangular bases would hold batteries; varying banners announcing exhibitions or theater productions also would be housed in the bases and could be raised within the bundle of supports.
Mr. Rockcastle presented the proposed siting of four supports near the edge of the lawn in front of the exhibition hall; the number and location would relate to the spacing of the street trees, the rhythm of the façade, and the location of the two entrances toward the ends of the facade. He said that another option would be to have a pair of support structures flanking the theater entrance, though that would be asymmetrical in relation to the facade and would be less visible from the sidewalk and the street.
Mr. Rockcastle presented the proposed structures and their setting in greater detail. He discussed their relation to the aluminum screens on the windows and to the proportion and structure of the infill section on the building's rear. He described the unique design of each support due to varying configurations of the vertical tubes. The banners would be made of an open woven fabric, adding to the transparent quality of the structures. He presented low, medium, and tall versions of the structures, noting that the lowest option would not provide sufficient solar exposure during the winter to power the lighting. Mr. Bellairs explained the solar design goal of providing the photovoltaic cells with six hours of direct daily exposure to sunlight; he therefore recommended the medium-height alternative.
Ms. Nelson suggested that the Commission discuss the concept of introducing banners before considering the technical details of the proposal. She expressed concern about the proposed location of the structures and asked if they could be moved farther from the building to the landscaped area along the curb which includes the street trees. Mr. Rockcastle said this would present a challenge because the banner supports would need to be placed among the trees, whose canopies will eventually grow together. Ms. Nelson said the building is "so perfect and so symmetrical" that low signage would perhaps be better. She asked whether the signs are meant primarily for pedestrians; Mr. Rockcastle responded that they are meant to be visible to drivers as well, and that low signs could be blocked from view by parked cars. Ms. Nelson asked if the banners would really attract people who weren't already intending to visit the building; Mr. Rockcastle said this question is difficult to answer, but the Folger believes that the building is not welcoming and does not convey the vitality and dynamism of its public programs. He emphasized the intention of developing a light and delicate signage system that would not conflict with the character of the building and noted that, except for the bases, the signs and supports are not solid structures. He emphasized the slender profile of the proposed signage system when seen from the sidewalk. Ms. Nelson asked whether they had done a mockup of just a pair of signs framing the theater entrance; Mr. Rockcastle said they had not, but could do so easily.
Mr. Rybczynski commented that banners have become ubiquitous and people no longer pay attention to them; he concluded that the proposed banners, no matter how beautiful the support structures, would not be effective in attracting people to the Folger. He added that most buildings in Washington with public functions have banners. While he agreed with the architects that banners should not be attached to the building, he said the building is so beautiful in itself that the proposed structures would detract from rather than add to it. He said he found the design explanation `"evocative" but the photographic illustration was not convincing and the structures look like an intrusion, adding that the signs would essentially be a billboard that would commercialize the building and repeat its name four times. He commented on the existing building's dignity, acknowledging that it is not welcoming but characterizing it nonetheless as cool and austere, qualities that are typical of a Cret building; he recommended that the Folger should accept that character rather than try to change it. He added that this is not a part of the city that attracts crowds anyway; he suggested that visitors tend to come to the Folger for a serious purpose rather than being attracted by signage, as they might be for museums on the Mall or downtown. He said that the proposed banner system would have the undesirable result of reducing the Folger to being more like a commercial downtown museum.
Mr. Rockcastle responded that the Folger is the only public structure for a considerable area east of the Capitol and the neighborhood is almost dark at night, and therefore "some heralding of public life . . . is a reasonable proposition for this building." He said that at least a pair of lit structures at the theater entrance would not be unreasonable, helping to distinguish it from the research entrance at the opposite end of the facade. He added that a small amount of additional lighting would be added into the replacement exterior handrails that will be proposed for the entrance areas. In further support of the proposed signage, he noted that income from the bookstore, exhibit attendance, and public programs is an increasingly important source of funds for the Folger to supplement its endowment income.
Ms. Plater-Zyberk acknowledged the value of emphasizing the theater entrance to distinguish it from the research entrance that is less used by the general public; she noted that the future accessibility alterations would also help to make a distinction. She commented on the importance of streetlights in the city's design and the lack of streetlights at the Folger, suggesting that they be used to highlight the theater entrance. She noted the slight asymmetries in the entrance stairs and the small existing signage, recommending that such subtle distinctions could be used to emphasize the entrance while not competing with the design of the facade. She said that the proposed location for the supports—the lawn area between the sidewalk and the front terrace wall—would be a good location for such design features but should not receive tall structures such as those proposed, which would compete with the simplicity of the façade and would become hidden by trees.
Ms. Nelson summarized the Commission's dissatisfaction with the proposal and suggested a consensus to ask the architects to return with another proposal for handling signage with lighting, acknowledging that evening visibility of the signage is an important concern. Ms. Plater-Zyberk said that the size of the new elements will be an important issue. Mr. Rockcastle expressed interest in pursuing an asymmetrical treatment as one alternative and said an "entourage" of features, including handrails, lighting, and some kind of graphic, may be a likely direction—perhaps at the entrance and oriented perpendicular rather than parallel to the street. Ms. Nelson agreed this would be an idea to explore.
Mr. McKinnell acknowledged the design of the banner supports as elegant but reiterated the Commission's unease with their relation to the building facade, commenting that neither helps the other. He suggested locating the banners at the street corners if that would be consistent with their purpose. Mr. Rybczynski said that the proposed freestanding signage has a billboard character that might be appropriate in a suburban setting but not in the city, where building signs are located on the buildings and only street signs are located in the public realm. He acknowledged that freestanding signage is sometimes done in Washington but said would not approve of dealing with the city in this way. He mentioned the pylon and banner signage systems used by the Smithsonian and other federal agencies, and said their presence suggests a playground rather than a city. He nonetheless agreed with Ms. Plater-Zyberk that identifying the theater entrance would be useful.
Ms. Plater-Zyberk added that the design of lit signage for evening audiences should be considered in the context of the overall lighting of the building, which was not presented; she added that the overall pattern of lighting for Washington buildings should also be studied. Mr. Rockcastle returned to the rendering of the light generated by the proposed banner supports but acknowledged that an overall rendering of the building lighting was not included in the presentation; he and Mr. Bellairs said that uplights located beneath each window would wash the facade. Ms. Plater-Zyberk reiterated that this should be studied.
Ms. Nelson said the Commission would look forward to seeing the submission of a revised concept for the banners, confirming that the window replacements are approved subject to an on-site comparison of the existing frame with a full-size sample of the proposed frame.
Mr. Rockcastle concluded by describing the challenges and concepts they are considering for the next phases of the project: lighting the exhibition hall, improving the accessibility of the theater entrance and lobby, and reordering the functions at the research entry, which would include moving the statue of Puck from the theater lobby to the research lobby which would have a better relation to its original site on the exterior. He described the exterior alterations that are being considered to provide a lift that would be concealed behind the topiary beside the theater entrance, with visitors emerging in a theatrical manner onto the entrance plaza. On the interior, reconfigured stairs and a new elevator would improve the lobby circulation and meet modern requirements while not requiring significant alteration of the existing walls. The research lobby would be reorganized to improve the location of the security desk, display cases, and bookstore.
Ms. Nelson suggested that light could be projected onto the stairs in the evening without having an impact on the building's daytime appearance; she said that theatrical lighting, with projections of text that could be changed for different performances, could be appropriate. Mr. Rockcastle acknowledged the advantage of an ephemeral rather than physical alteration. Ms. Plater-Zyberk said that images could be projected onto the building's facade, which has large flat surfaces; Ms. Nelson agreed, commenting that this feature would only appear in the evenings and therefore would not permanently detract from the historic design. Mr. Rockcastle agreed to study this further, commenting on the projected light work of contemporary artists.
The discussion of the banner supports and lighting concluded without a formal motion; Mr. Rockcastle agreed to prepare a revised concept submission.
3. S.L. 09-002 (H.P.A. 08-506), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street, N.W. Building lighting. Concept. After publication of the final agenda, this item was withdrawn and postponed to the following month to provide the opportunity for a more adequate site inspection.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:51 p.m.
Thomas E. Luebke, AIA