CFA 20/NOV/08-10


Watha T. Daniel (Shaw) Neighborhood Library
1701 8th Street at Rhode Island Avenue, NW
United States

D.C. Public Library
Watha T. Daniel (Shaw) Neighborhood Library
New replacement building
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Ms. Cooper:

In its meeting of 20 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the final plans for a new building for the Watha T. Daniel (Shaw) Neighborhood Library, 1701 8th Street at Rhode Island Avenue, NW, as well as a separate submission for the concept design and location for a sculpture by artist Craig Kraft on the library grounds. The Commission approved the final design for the new building with comments regarding the architecture and the location of the sculpture.

The Commission members reiterated their support of the D.C. Public Library's initiative to pursue contemporary architecture for its neighborhood libraries. However, they expressed concern that the design of the south elevation will compromise long-term maintenance of the glass skin. They also recommended reconsideration of the large-scale graphics proposed for two of the facades, commenting that this imagery is dated and potentially confusing. The Commission requested that a sample panel of the exterior materials be erected on site for approval, which has been delegated to staff.

Regarding the location of the sculpture, the Commission members recommended that the design team and the artist work together to find an appropriate site that would provide the desired prominence while not competing with the entrance to the new building. They suggested alternative locations for the sculpture, such as the southwest corner of the site as proposed by the design team, or the north side of the building in place of the proposed facade graphics.

Please coordinate with the staff for the inspection of the exterior material sample panel and the final submission for the sculpture. As always, the staff is available should additional questions arise.


Thomas E. Luebke, AIA Secretary

Ginny Cooper, Chief Librarian
District of Columbia Public Library
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library
901 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

cc: Peter Cook, Davis Brody Bond Aedas
Christopher Ziemann, D.C. Department of Transportation
Craig Kraft, artist