CFA 21/OCT/21-2


1625 P Street, NW
Washington, DC
United States

D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation
Stead Park Community Recreation Center
Playground renovation and building additions
Review Type
Revised concept
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Hunter:

In its public meeting of 21 October conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a new concept design for modifications to the Stead Park Recreation Center at 1625 P Street, NW. The Commission approved the proposal and provided the following comments for the development of the design.

Acknowledging the need for construction cost-saving that has resulted in modifications to the previously approved final design, the Commission members commented that the proposal has in fact been improved through the rigorous process of reconfiguration and simplification. They characterized the site plan as generally well resolved, and they encouraged further study of how to increase flexibility in accommodating various types and sizes of outdoor events and uses; for example, they suggested eliminating the middle segment of basketball court fencing to connect it with the entry plaza to the east and to create a more open character, and they recommended consolidating program areas beneath the canopy, such as by reconfiguring the bioretention features. They also commented that the broad sweep of stairs along the P Street sidewalk may be perceived as an overscaled design gesture for this mid-block entrance to the park, and they suggested restudying the introduction of planters to modulate the extent of the stairs, and a possible second ramp on the west side to increase accessibility.

For the design of the recreation center building, the Commission members described the proposed rear addition as having a Miesian elegance; they recommended Option 1 for the details of the metal panels as preferred by the design team, but using the lighter color shown in Option 3. Noting the proposed removal of paint from the historic structure’s exterior brick, they suggested careful attention to providing adequate protection from weather damage.

The Commission looks forward to further review of this important community facility. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.

/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Delano Hunter, Director
D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation
1275 First Street, NE, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20002

cc: Joe Celantano, VMDO Architects
Joe Chambers, Landscape Architecture Bureau