Housing Complex

A Challenge to the Hirshhorn Bubble!


Commissions! They like to meet.

They don't like not to meet. Not to be included. Not to have their oversight required, as it would turn out.

Earlier this week, news broke that the Hirshhorn Museum was planning on constructing a temporary bubble installation twice a year extending inside and out its building. According to the New York Times, the rationale for the bubble was to avoid a permanent addition, which would "require the approval of the notoriously conservative Fine Arts Commission and the National Capital Planning Commission, a process that could take years."

Look how well that thinking is going over: In a totally predictable move, the National Capital Planning Commission is pressing for oversight, according to an Associated Press story out this afternoon.

National Capital Planning Commission spokeswoman Lisa MacSpadden says the law governing Washington planning doesn't differentiate between temporary and permanent buildings.

Officials from the museum, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution, plan to meet Friday with the commission. Museum spokesman Gabriel Riera says a temporary structure would not seem to be bound by the same oversight as a permanent addition to the National Mall.

Image by Diller Scofidio & Renfro

  • Gayle

    Typical - let's see how DC's bureaucratic hubris can once again get in the way of innovation and creative ideas that will benefit and enlighten everyone.

  • Skinnytree


    The NCPC is not part of the "DC bureaucracy." It's a Federal commission, rather galling to me that it has such power over DC development. Most of the members have nothing, really, to do with DC.

    From Virginia and South Carolina and Maryland, yes. Argument is that DC belongs to America, and not just to DC citizens (who do not have voting representation in Congress, but you knew that).

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