Being conservative of temperament--especially when it comes to architecture and national monuments--my first question about these plans to redesign the National Mall is, "Exactly why is this necessary?" This article in Smithsonian takes it as a given that it is; perhaps a member of Ricochet can tell me why.
Last September, the Trust for the National Mall, a nonprofit devoted to improving the park, launched a National Mall Design Competition. Architects from around the country submitted their portfolios, and by mid-December, a jury of experts invited ten design teams to re-imagine three “dead zones”: Union Square, in front of the Capitol; the grounds just south of the Washington Monument; and Constitution Gardens, just east of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The trust released the visions for the Mall this week.
With amphitheaters and dramatic fountains, skating rinks and lush gardens, the proposals, on display through April 15 at the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Castle, provide a hopeful glimpse into the National Mall’s future.
The jury will announce the winning design for each site on May 3. Since Union Square has fallen under the auspices of the Architect of the Capitol, the prevailing design for it will be sent to Congress to consider. The trust hopes to move forward on a redesign of either the Washington Monument grounds or Constitution Gardens by 2016.
Have a look through the slideshow. Which ones do you like?
I reject this as an outrage and a horror:
But this looks lovely to me: