June 4, 2009

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitor Center
(File Number 6597)

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) commented on revised concept designs submitted by the National Park Service (NPS) for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitor Center. The Center is slated for the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial bounded by Constitution Avenue, Henry Bacon Drive, Lincoln Memorial Circle, and 23rd Street, NW, Washington, DC.

The Commission acknowledged the project’s significance and the difficult challenge in designing a Visitor Center at this historically significant and sensitive site on the National Mall. The project is required to meet 14 specific design guidelines jointly developed by NCPC and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts to comply with the Commemorative Works Act. The Commission confirmed that the submitted design met seven of the 14 design guidelines, did not meet four of the design guidelines, and noted that the Park Service has not yet addressed three remaining design guidelines. The Commission also noted that the National Park Service had not responded to the Commission’s additional requirement for NPS to identify a site within a ½ mile of the current location for a displaced ball field. The Commission recommended three changes to the design to which the applicant agreed: eliminating the proposed walkway from Constitution Avenue, eliminating the building’s skylights, and reducing the size of the building’s courtyard.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


National Mall and East Potomac Park Pedestrian Guide Pylons and Map Kiosks
(File Number 6910)

The Commission approved preliminary site development plans for pylons and map kiosks for the National Mall and East Potomac Park. Submitted by the National Park Service, the proposal is part of a larger sign program that also includes NPS facility identification signs, rules and regulation signs, and memorial identification signs.

The Commission approved the request to replace more than 100 existing map and directional signs with 113 pedestrian guide pylons and map kiosks. The approved pylons and map kiosks will each be installed in two different sizes.

The Commission recommended that in the preparation of final site development plans that the taller pylon form be simplified by eliminating the proposed granite base and fabricating it at the proposed revised height of 9 feet 2 inches. The Commission noted that the last component of the sign program, the memorial identification signs, will be reviewed at a future meeting.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Hope VI Redevelopment Project Planned Unit Development
(File Number Z.C. 03-12/03-13 G, H)

NCPC advised the Zoning Commission of the District of Columbia that proposed modifications to the second stage Consolidated Planned Unit Development Capper/Carrollsburg Hope VI Redevelopment Project in Southeast, DC would not be inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital nor affect any other identified federal interests subject to the Zoning Commission including in its final action the conditions set forth in the June 1, 2009 letters from the Department of the Navy and Holland and Knight and the June 4, 2009 letter from Holland and Knight.

See the Commission Action, Staff Recommendation, and public letters


American Institute of Architects Headquarters Consolidated Planned Unit Development
(File Number Z.C. 08-27)

NCPC also advised the Zoning Commission of the District of Columbia that a proposed Consolidated Planned Unit Development for Square 170, lots 38 and 39 and a related map amendment to change the zoning from SP-2 to C-3-C would not be inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital nor would it adversely affect any other identified federal interests.

In an effort to become LEED platinum certified, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) seeks to retrofit its headquarters building by adding ventilation stacks, creating a green roof, installing cisterns and operational windows, and locating a solar thermal water heating system on the roof. The renovation plan also calls for moving an existing interior bookstore to the street front.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


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.