Dear Mr. Russo:
The Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept design of the new entrance security facility for Fort McNair at its 20 October meeting and approved the concept with several recommendations. The members were very encouraged by the design team's effort to create a simple facility with a clear layout, using a landscape-based solution for the vehicular barriers. The Commission members requested that the team study increasing the size of the earthwork berms and integrating the buildings more fully with the landscape. They also suggested that additional plantings be considered to create a more ample visual buffer between the facility and the grounds of the fort.
The Commission members observed that the detailing on the roofs and canopies of the individual structures within the facility appeared heavy and should have a visually lighter feeling. In addition, they suggested that the canopy supports for the vehicle search and ID check areas should be rendered in brick rather than metal. For the ID check area, they thought the canopy supports could be integrated with the guard booths to create a more unified and less cluttered appearance.
The proposed extension of the fort's perimeter fence along 2nd Street, with the open metal fence and solid brick sections, was thought to be appropriate and in character with the fort's existing historic perimeter walls. However, the members suggested that the special feature in the fence at the terminus of Potomac Avenue should be more transparent so as not to block the vista down the avenue into the fort.
The Commission looks forward to further review of this and other projects for Fort McNair and the Military District of Washington. As always, the Commission staff is available should you or your design teams require additional guidance.
/s/Thomas Luebke, AIA
John T. Russo
Director, Public Works
Department of the Army
Headquarters, United States Army Garrison, Fort Myer
204 Lee Avenue
Fort Myer, VA 22211-1199
cc: Rod Garrett, S.O.M.