February 2, 2006

Armed Forces Retirement Home – Draft Plan
(File Number MP060)

The Armed Forces Retirement Home submitted a draft master plan to the Commission that proposes a framework for potential uses for the campus in Northwest Washington, D.C. The Commission’s comments on the plan will guide the Home as it develops a master plan for this historic site. The Commission’s recommendations include the following:
• Reduce the total amount of proposed development. The Commission did not support the applicant’s proposal to develop up to 9 million square feet of new space on the campus. The maximum amount of new development should not exceed the moderate range, as specified in the draft Environmental Impact Statement.
• Ensure that building heights will be compatible with the character and scale of the surrounding area, the topography and other natural conditions of the site, and the historic assets on the site, thus protecting historic view sheds. In determining building heights, surrounding residential patterns should also be recognized.
• Include publicly accessible recreational open space in several areas of the campus; and coordinate open space development with the community and NCPC staff.
• Prepare a Transportation Management Plan.
• Prior to submitting the master plan, provide NCPC staff with a revised draft plan that addresses the Commission’s comments.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

National Museum of Natural History – Perimeter Security Plan
(File Number 6423/6636)

The Commission approved final site and building plans for perimeter security around the National Museum of Natural History. Plans for the museum respond to the unique site conditions that exist along Constitution Avenue, Madison Drive, 12th Street, and 9th Street.

On Constitution Avenue, a free-standing wall of open cast-stainless steel panels interspersed with granite slabs will provide visually open security. Bollards and two new granite-faced guard booths will secure the Constitution Avenue driveways.

On Madison Drive, existing retaining walls will be raised to create a security barrier, leaving the curbs and sidewalks unimpeded. Regraded planting beds will create a Bird Garden—similar to the Butterfly Garden established along 9th Street—and make the barriers less visible to pedestrians. In addition, the Smithsonian Institution will use stainless steel bollards and granite pavers in front of the entrance. For the south facade, the Commission recommended a design that consists of raising the level of Madison Drive in front of the museum in order to eliminate the curb.

Security along 12th Street will extend elements from Madison Drive and Constitution Avenue while security along 9th Street will blend with the existing Butterfly Garden. The Smithsonian also will create a Geological Specimen Garden with boulders along the northeast and southeast corners of 9th Street.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Delegated Decisions: Projects for which the Commission delegated decision-making authority to the Chairman, Executive Committee, or Executive Director.