Dear Mr. Bryan:
On the evening before its meeting of 25 January 2005, the Commission visited the Naval Observatory to inspect the proposed site of the National Master Clock Support Facility and the buildings slated for demolition. The members felt that the site proposed for the support facility was an acceptable location on the grounds of the U. S. Naval Observatory and they look forward to further review of this structure’s design as they develop it.
After examining the structures slated for demolition, the members agreed that the four small vinyl-sided sheds that housed the alignment targets could be taken down to their foundations, which should be left as an aid in the interpretation of how the telescopes functioned. As for buildings #7 and #6 that housed the telescopes, the members felt that these historic structures should be retained, their exteriors restored, and their interiors adapted for other contemporary uses. These are two of the original structures designed by Richard Morris Hunt for the observatory, and are too important to lose as they contribute greatly to the architectural and scientific significance of the observatory complex, which is a National Historic Landmark. Any and all efforts should be taken to maintain these two buildings and because of their importance they should be excepted and exempted from the standard policies controlling the dispensation of the inventory of military buildings.
The members and staff of the Commission would like to convey their thanks to your project team for arranging their inspection of the complex. The members found their visit to be very informative and look forward to the review of future projects at the Naval Observatory. As always, the staff is available should you require additional guidance.
/s/Frederick J. Lindstrom
Mr. Mike Bryan
Department of the Navy
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington
1314 Harwood Street, SE
Washington, DC 20374-5018
cc: Melissa Devnich, Naval Facilities