CFA 17/SEP/20-7


North Capitol Street and Channing Street, NW
Washington, DC
United States

D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
McMillan Community Center
New community and recreation center
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Falcicchio:

In its public meeting of 17 September conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the final design submission for a new community center building on the southern portion of the historic McMillan Sand Filtration Site at North Capitol and Channing Streets, NW. In conjunction with the previously approved landscape design, the Commission approved the building design with the following comments and conditions regarding building entrances.

The Commission members expressed appreciation for the additional documentation of the architecture, commenting that the building would be an elegant and inviting neighborhood amenity. Observing that this community center would ideally have multiple entrances to relate to the topographically complex site, they acknowledged the operational constraints that have resulted in a single public entrance, located at the north side of the building’s upper level facing the historic South Court of sand filtration towers. However, they commented that the open, transparent architectural character of the center, set within a series of active outdoor spaces, promises access into it from multiple directions, which is then denied by having only a single entrance. Therefore, the Commission members recommended treating the upper-level egress door at the south bridge as an operational public entrance, making this a condition of the approval. In addition, their approval action included revising the main, northern entrance to improve its relationship to the strong massing of the adjacent historic brick site wall and portal by reducing the projection and overhang of the vestibule.

For the completion of the final review process for both the landscape and building design, please coordinate the resolution of these conditions 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: Tom Jester, Quinn Evans Architects
Elliot Rhodeside, Rhodeside & Harwell