2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE (at Cypress and 13th Streets)
Dear Mr. Falcicchio:
In its public meeting of 15 October conducted by videoconference, the Commission
of Fine Arts reviewed a final design submission for a new seven-level parking garage structure on Parcel 6, at the intersection of Cypress Street and the temporary 13th Street, SE, on the St. Elizabeths East Campus. Citing a lack of responsiveness to its previous guidance, the Commission did not take an action and provided the following comments for the development of the design.
The Commission members found that the design of the proposed garage continues to
be conventional, featureless, and utilitarian—presenting a character that is not commensurate with the significance of this historic campus. To improve the appearance of the garage, they suggested employing architectural strategies instead of the proposed plantings, which would take many years to provide adequate cover; these strategies could include reconfiguring the facade openings to have more building-like proportions, or installing a wire-mesh grid across the facades to give the structure a more refined character and possibly to support climbing plants. Overall, they recommended placing more emphasis on the design of all the facades rather than only on the stair and elevator tower, which could be refined once the anticipated liner building is developed.
The Commission looks forward to the next review of this project. For the next submission, please consult with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor
D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 317
Washington, DC 20004
cc: Ralph Cunningham, Cunningham Quill Architects
Jeff Lee, Lee & Associates
Latrena M. Owens, St. Elizabeths East, DC-DMPED