June 2, 2011

Read the meeting transcript

Mary E. Switzer Building – Site Improvements and Perimeter Security
(File number 7100)

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) approved preliminary and final site and building plans for site improvements and perimeter security at the Mary E. Switzer Building. Planned improvements include a new landscaped plaza with sustainable design elements, an outdoor vendor area with seating, a children’s play area, and large expanses of green space. The five-story Switzer Building is located in the Southwest Federal Center (also known as the Southwest Rectangle) at 330 C Street, SW in Washington, DC.

The new landscaped plaza on C Street would replace an existing 114 vehicle parking lot and serve as the building’s main entryway. Perimeter security will be integrated into the proposed site improvements using non-traditional security elements including garden walls, benches, bike racks, street lamps, newspaper boxes, trash receptacles, as well as bollards.

The new plaza is part of the General Service Administration’s (GSA) larger concept to create a unified open green space along C Street, SW between the Switzer Building and the Cohen Building. Plans for site improvements to the Cohen Building have not been submitted to NCPC for review.

Constructed between 1939 and 1940, the Switzer Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Current tenants include the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, and a child development center.

See the Commission Action, Staff Recommendation, and FONSI

Watch the Video
[Begins at 33:21]

Harry S Truman Building, U.S. Department of State Headquarters – United States Diplomacy Center
(File number 7246)

NCPC provided comments on concept designs for the United States Diplomacy Center in the U.S. Department of State’s Harry S Truman Building. The center will house a museum and educational center focusing on American diplomatic and State Department history.

The 41,400 square-foot center will be built in two phases. The first phase would add an entry pavilion onto the building’s 21st Street side and provide security screening for visitors. Phase two construction would take place in existing space of the Truman Building’s George Marshall Wing.

In its comments NCPC asked the State Department to refine details for attaching the new pavilion to the historic Truman Building, develop an alternative that lowers the pavilion’s roof to match the building’s cornice line, develop a design alternative that uses transparent glass, and integrate the Truman Building’s perimeter security plans into the Diplomacy Center’s design.

These recommendations will be considered by the State Department and the General Services Administration when developing the project’s preliminary design, which will return to the Commission for review at a later date.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Watch the Video
[Begins at 1:33:54]

Consent Calendar: The Commission voted on Consent Calendar items without staff presentations or public testimony.

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