CFA 17/JAN/08-5


Southeast Federal Center (The Yards)
between 2nd and 5th Streets, SE
United States

U.S. General Services Administration
Southeast Federal Center (The Yards)
Phase I designs for 5.6-acre waterfront park
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Mr. McGill:

In its meeting of 17 January, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept design for the waterfront park of The Yards development in the Southeast Federal Center. The Commission complimented the design team for the energetic design of this large waterfront site and approved the concept with several comments, recognizing that a final submission will not be required due to the special agreement for review of development under this public-private partnership.

While the Commission members endorsed the general design concept, they expressed concern about the similar size and character of many of the secondary spaces in the park design, suggesting that simplicity and hierarchy among the patchwork of spaces would be an improvement. In particular, they recommended an emphasis on larger-scale spaces along the waterfront where people will tend to congregate. The Commission also noted the importance of providing sufficient shade and encouraged consideration of additional trees, while recognizing that planting is not feasible along the boardwalk at the river's edge.

The Commission members look forward to reviewing the remaining elements that were not included in the concept submission, including the pedestrian bridge, the vertical feature at the end of the boardwalk, and the retail pavilions. As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Michael McGill
Special Assistant for Regional Coordination
U.S. General Services Administration
301 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20407-0001

cc: Alex Nyhan, Forest City Washington
M. Paul Friedberg, M. Paul Friedberg and Partners