trapezoid parcel bounded by Massachusetts Avenue and H, 2nd, and 3rd Streets, NW
Dear Mr. Anderson:
In its public meeting of 16 June conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design submission for Cobb Park, a new park landscape with public artwork to be located on the trapezoidal parcel bounded by Massachusetts Avenue and H, 2nd, and 3rd Streets, NW. The Commission did not take an action and provided the following comments.
The Commission members expressed general support for re-envisioning this park in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood of the city; however, they raised concerns about several issues regarding the park’s design and organization. Noting that the site is surrounded by busy streets, they expressed concern about the placement of the Star Court at the apex of the triangular site, adjacent to the traffic and noise of a busy intersection, and they recommended moving this feature to another location, perhaps closer to the center or at the eastern end of the lawn. Overall, they recommended simplification of the proposal in order to provide the most generous, flexible space to accommodate the activities of the park’s program. For example, noting the limited space allotted for the children’s play area, they suggested that the central lawn should also be considered a play area for children, possibly with the boulders located within it.
For the details of the design, the Commission members suggested several revisions. Observing that the perimeter fence appears too high and solid, they recommended it be made either lower or more transparent, stressing the importance of clear sightlines into the park. They also requested further study of the thresholds into the park from the perimeter, and they suggested that a simpler paving design might be better for the long-term maintenance of the Star Court plaza. Finally, they questioned the use of synthetic turf in the dog park, and they noted that the planted buffer along the crosswalk to the northwest was still unresolved.
The Commission looks forward to further review of this project. Please coordinate the next submission with the staff, which is available to assist you with the development of the design.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Keith A. Anderson, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Mary Marcinko, AMT
Andrew Pressman, architect/artist
David Wooden, D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation