Dear Ms. Ratcliff:
During its meeting of 17 October, the Commission was pleased to receive the informational presentation on the Baltimore-Washington Maglev Project. Although the Commission was generally supportive of the project, there were concerns related to the terminal entrance proposed for Union Station. While the removal of the 1980's second floor renovation was not objectionable, the excavation and partial removal of the original floor in the historic West Hall is excessively intrusive for the creation of a new monumental stair. Therefore, the Commission requests additional study of possible paths and modes of egress to develop an appropriate entrance that respects the integrity of the historic structure.
In addition to the terminus at Union Station, the Commission is interested in the development of designs for the rail infrastructure. Due to the prototypical nature of the project and its prominence in the landscape, the aesthetic value of this modern structure will be as important as the mechanical engineering. The Commission recommends extensive research of infrastructural elements of similar scale and function, prior to identifying a final design.
We look forward to continued informational presentations and future reviews as this project is realized. As always, the staff is available should you or the design team require assistance.
Harry G. Robinson III, FAIA
Diane H. Ratcliff
Manager, Environmental Planning
Maryland Transit Administration
6 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202-1614
cc: Suhair Alkhatib, Program Manager
Celso Luis Guitian, Project Architect
Donna Siefert, Manager of Cultural Resources
Katherine Larson Farnham, Project Historian
Kathleen D. Patti, KCI Technologies, Inc.