MAY 1996

Help Us Assess Long-term Design Alternatives for Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House

In May 1995 public vehicular traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue between 15th and 17th Streets was restricted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for security reasons. Subsequently, the National Park Service was asked to coordinate the development of long-term plans to improve the appearance of this area. The resulting design would need to

* restrict public vehicular traffic while maintaining access for official government uses, such as motorcades and diplomatic arrivals

* accommodate inaugural parades, requiring a 60' width

Since October 1995 the National Park Service has been gathering ideas for a redesign and working with other agencies and interests to develop a range of design alternatives. The alternatives, including the preferred alternative, are presented in this newsletter. We invite you to review the alternatives and to comment on them by using the enclosed response sheet. An environmental assessment for the long-term design has also been prepared to analyze the impacts of implementing the alternatives. If you would like to receive a copy, fax your request to (202) 219-1010.

Following this review period, a final long-term design will be selected and refined. The final design will be publicly presented in July 1996.

A Timeless Design for Pennsylvania Avenue

The original design for the city of Washington was intended to symbolize the linkages between the three branches of government, as well as the connections between the stutes und the federal government. That basic design, developed by Pierre L'Enfant over 200 years ago, has endured, with some minor refinements.

The White House is the center of the executive branch of government. It is the place where citizens come to show an emotional connection with rhe presidency, to gather in times of crisis, and to petition the president to redress grievances, as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The Whlte House is the People's House. What we do here must be timeless and adaptabie to a wide variety of uses. High-quality, enduring materials and fine detailing must be used. You - the public - have told us you expect no less.

The Range of Alternatives

The alternatives are based on more than 700 ideas, suggestions, and survey responses from the public, design professionals, and students. Ideas were also generated at a design workshop attended by nationally recognized experts in planning and design last December. Initially five alternatives - from a minor change to a major redesign - were considered. One of the alternatives was eliminated, and a preferred alternative was developed. The preferred alternative incorporates elements from all the other alternatives.

*Preferred Alternative - The design for Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Park would incorporate elements from earlier designs, emphasizing L'Enfant's plan and returning a curved wall line echoing Jefferson's era. Timeless, durable, and high-quality materials would be used to reconnect and unify President's Park.

*Alternative A - Least Change: Minor changes would be made to improve Pennsylvania Avenue, but the street appearance would be retained.

*Alternative B - Limited Change: Pennsylvania Avenuye would be paved with stone and brick to link Lafayette Park and the White House.

*Alternative C - Moderate Change: All areas of President's Park would be unified by consistently using materials and design elements, including special paving patterns.

*Alternative D - Most Change: Pennsylvania Avenue, Lafayette Park, and the north grounds of the White House would be redesigned to provide a new ceremonial entrance to the White House.

The alternatives are further explained beginning on page 3, and the designs are shown on accompanying maps.

Pennsylvania Avenue Continued.

Pennsylvania Ave. Closure || Peace Park