Posts Tagged ‘national capital planning commission’

NCPC Chief: Our Role on Height Act Is to Define Federal Interest

On Wednesday, I expressed some righteous indignation at a report by the executive director of the National Capital Planning Commission on the Height Act. The report, by Marcel Acosta, essentially recommends that Congress keep the 1910 law, with its restrictions on D.C.'s ability to allow tall buildings, completely intact, suggesting only that minor changes be made [...]

How to Rile Up a Crowd (in D.C.): Talk Building Heights

So far, reviewing the Height of Buildings Act to provide recommendations to Congress on how to amend it has been pretty fun for Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning.
"From a totally geeky planning perspective, I have to say it’s kind of thrilling to be asked to look at this issue," Tregoning said last night at [...]

Livable. Walkable. Federal?

“How many of you go to L’Enfant Plaza to dine or for entertainment?” the General Services Administration’s Genevieve Hanson asked a crowd of about 50 developers and interested members of the public last week. Two hands went up.
Hanson rephrased her question: How many of the audience members considered the area just south of the National [...]

Fun Falls Victim to GSA Cost Cutting

For a minute there, it looked like the federal government was going to embrace temporary urbanism, with a creative installation to enliven the cold, dead heart of Federal Triangle. So much for that idea: The General Services Administration put the contest on indefinite hold, three months after issuing a call for qualifications.
Why the about-face? The National [...]

Latest Perimeter Security Designs Get Marginally Better

What the fences will look like.

Last year, after Osama bin Laden had been killed and the tenth anniversary of September 11th was nearly upon us, I took a look at how well D.C.'s haphazard security measures were being baked into the landscape. The conclusion: Not badly, given that ideas for how to protect buildings from [...]

The Eisenhower Memorial: Keeping Score

Frank Gehry's latest design for the Eisenhower Memorial was supposed to go before the National Capital Planning Commission last week. Instead, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission pushed it off, and released new images of the sculptural elements of the design, apparently in an attempt to deflect attention away from the giant metal "tapestries" that had attracted [...]

Cafeteria Society

The south side of the National Mall
has never been known for dynamic dining. And at lunchtime, C Street SW is especially forlorn. Other than the occasional snack cart, the strip’s monolithic office buildings generate all the midday foot traffic of abandoned warehouses.
Have faith, hungry pedestrian! Step through a barely visible door near the corner of [...]

To Fix Awful Federal Triangle, Feds Go Temporary

One of D.C.'s more godforsaken public spaces.

The construction of Federal Triangle—that monolithic block of offices between Pennsylvania and Constitution on either side of 12th Street NW—didn't do much for downtown public space. This was an era when America was still trying to assert its dominance in the world, after all, through mimicking the imperial aesthetic [...]

City of Ghosts

Photo Slideshow: Unbuilt Washington

More than any other American city, Washington is caked with layer upon layer of ideas that never made it off the boards. For every building, iconic or otherwise, there are dozens of unsuccessful attempts.
That archaeology of failure is created by two opposing forces.
On the one hand, the city’s tremendous symbolism as the [...]

Forget Google Transit. How About Google Memorials?

The ever-innovative National Capital Planning Commission interactivity team has put together a nifty tool that maps not only the memorials you've heard about, but also the little plaques, lanterns, and statues to people and events otherwise lost to the mists of history (ever stopped to commemorate Maine's lobstermen before?)
Though not user-generated like another artsy e-map [...]

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