The Preferred Alternative:
Why Is It Preferred?

The preferred alternative was chosen for the following reasons:

Specific Recommendations

Pennsylvania Avenue should be returned to a narrower width that is more compatible with the scale of the area. The avenue should also incorporate the "grand avenue" character and components envisioned in L'Enfant's original plan for Washington -- wide footpaths, boulevard tree plantings, and a central "carriageway." The avenue should not separate people from the People's House.

It should be recognized that any design for rhis site cannot be frozen at any one time. This is a dynamic site, and it will continue to change in the future. The design that is ultimately selected needs to reflect historic designs, echoing ideas from Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Latrobe, as well as Andrew Jackson Downing. However, it should also allow for revisions to the shape and details of walls, fences, road width, and materials.

Bollards would be more welcoming than fencing because they do not block pedestrian entries.

Double gatehouses, placed on both sides of vehicle entrances, would provide a more formal appearance and follow the historical precedents for the site. They would also provide a location to orient visitors, answer questions, and accommodate needed storage space.

Public Use: Site design elements would signify the importance of this area. Additional directional information orientation / educational information and activities would encourage public use. Historically and inspirational inscriptions in paving would be incorporated in the design. First Amendment activities would continue at existing levels, but infrastructure would be provided to reduce damage to the site. New, larger restrooms would be provided.

Relationship to the City: A President's Park neighborhood identiy would be emphasized by carrying site design elements into the surrounding area. Additional information and directions for Metro riders would be provided.

Historic Preservation: Statues and walk configurations in Lafayette Square National Historic Landmark District, would be retained. The bronze urns near Pennsylvania Avenue would be moved to the north side of the park. The ca. 1913 lodge with restrooms and the ca. 1969 fountains would be removed. The Thomas Jefferson's idea for a public common - a space for citizens - would be established.

Safety: Paving would be replaced, providing a solid, even surface for pedestrians. Permanent bollards, combined with gatehouses and vehicle entrances, would surround the area.

Overall Design: Paving materials, directional and informational sihns, lighting, and site furnishings (fencing, bollards,drinking fountains, seating, chess tables, trash receptacles, information areas, etc.) would be consistent and complementary. New bollards would replace the concrete barriers.

Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House would be realigned to better connect Lafayette Park. This alternative respects the principles of Pierre L'Enfants plan, and the curved wall line in front of the White House would echo the appearance during Thomas Jefferson's era. Pennsylvania Avenue would present the ceremonial "grand avenue" character envisioned by L'Enfant, with boulevard trees amd brpad pedestrian walks on each side of a central avenue. Timesless, durable, and high-quality materials would be used in simple, stately, and traditional ways.

Pennsylvania Avenue Continued.

Pennsylvania Ave. Closure || Peace Park