Eastern Market Metro Redesign Sent Back to Drawing Board by Fine Arts Commission
by Larry Janezich
ANC6B Commissioner Steve Holtzman told constituents and neighbors in a Friday e-mail, that on Thursday, the DC Commission on Fine Arts (CFA) sent the design concepts for upgrading “Metro Plaza Park” back to the drawing boards The move will delay the approval process for at least a month. It seems likely that the April 3 community meeting where DGS was to present the final concept to the community will be postponed or, at least, changed in agenda and format.
According to Holtzman, after the DGS project team’s half hour presentation, the seven member commission asked the design team to reconsider the basic principles of the design, steering them away from the concept of a “Town Square” and toward a concept of two large triangular parks that don’t “need to look like each other”.
The take-away admonition appeared to be, “less is more.”
Holtzman said that the gist of the commission’s feedback is reflected in the following comments from members of the commission:
“The fact that it’s called a park, forget about that. You’re imagining this as a park when what you have are 2 wonderful spaces. You are taking the word ‘park’ too literally. You have two magnificent open spaces… Don’t think of it as a square. It’s two large triangular spaces. Two wonderful parks that don’t even have to look like each other. There’s some confusion here. There’s “Library Square”…and “South Carolina Playground”. They need better names. But, don’t see it as a giant square. See it as two wonderful spaces.”
“There’s too much going on…too many different things.”
“It is not one park nor will it be unless you close both Pennsylvania Avenue and 8th Street.”
“You compromise both spaces by trying to unify them”
“Try to not force the idea that this is the one unit we’ll allow.”
“The two spaces relate to different areas…the metro plaza relates to the buildings of the businesses and the library and the Metro. The park with the playground relates to the neighborhood north of it.”
Holtzman told his constituents, “I think we can assume that the project has not hit a complete roadblock. The Commission only meets monthly so it seems fair to say that the minimum the project will be delayed will be one month. It may be longer. We’ll have to see how the team responds.”
Here’s a link to the March 7, concept drawings, labeled “Commission on Fine Arts Hearing” https://anc6b.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019-03-06_CFA-Presentation_Final.pdf