. . . for a New Visionary Plan for the 3rd Century

“As it turns out, there is no broad vision for the physical environment of the Mall. The National Park Service has a plan, but it focuses on maintenance and policy to ensure the Mall ‘is a model of cleanliness and ecologically sustainable practices’. . . What’s needed is a master plan to guide future projects and establish the overarching aesthetic and symbolic vision for the Mall.”

— Architect and architecture critic Deborah K. Dietsch, “National Mall needs a master plan, not piecemeal changes,” Washington Business Journal, June 1, 2012

“The latest visions for the National Mall and city center lack the courage and boldness needed for an enlightened 21st century . . . Maybe some outside help is in order. The National Coalition to Save our Mall has long called for the convening of an outside commission of brilliant folks…I bet the response would be terrific. I bet a great majority of Americans would say, yes, we want only the very best for our capital.”

Former Washington Post architecture critic Benjamin Forgey, 2009

“The last comprehensive look at the Mall was in 1902 by the McMillan Commission. So there is much merit to the National Coalition to Save Our Mall’s proposal that Congress charter a commission to devise – and then implement – a vision for the coming decades.”

The Washington Post editorial, May 25, 2008

“[the Coalition] proposes a McMillan-type congressional commission to be solely responsible for the Mall. It would bring forth a new, visionary plan . . . such a vision would enunciate the Mall’s symbolic and cultural significance, setting forth how the Mall should be composed physically, how it should be used and managed, how it should relate to the surrounding city and what messages it should convey to the nation’s citizens and to the world.”

Washington Post “Shaping The City” columnist Roger K. Lewis, 2008

“It’s a long and honorable line of visionaries Feldman and her friends invite us to join, stretching back through Moore to Downing, and beyond him to the great L’Enfant himself, who had the imagination and pluck to look out on a mess and dare to see a mall.”

Andrew Ferguson, senior editor of The Weekly Standard, 2006

“the National Coalition to Save Our Mall, a nonprofit advocacy group, says the Mall could grow again for the 21st century — this time by reengineering not the riverbank but our concept of the Mall. . . People will come up with reasons why it can’t work, and many would resist being the first to settle on the newest “new” Mall. But the possibilities are exciting: fabulous new sites for dramatic architecture, incentives for circular sightseeing routes, new potential for the riverfront. “It’s not a design, not a plan, but an idea,” says Judy Scott Feldman, president of the coalition. Let a thousand concepts bloom.”

Washington Post columnist Fred Hiatt, “Let the Mall Grow,” Washington Post, 2005

. . . and for the National Mall Underground

“The Mall is the centerpiece of the district economy, culture, identity and tourism. If you’re talking tourism and not talking about the Mall you’re missing something crucial. This project has the potential to make the Mall for the 21st century a place people populate and animate.”

            — Former DC mayor Anthony Williams, now head of the Federal City Council

“A panacea for parking shortages, bus traffic, fossil-fuel burning, and flooding tucked beneath the Mall? That’s what a proposed parking garage—buried under the grassy expanse between the National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian “Castle”—purports to be. The multilevel space could accommodate 900 cars and 200 buses, in addition to a central visitor center and public restrooms. A 34-million-gallon overflow reservoir would prevent a repeat of the flooding that swamped Federal Triangle in 2006. And, rain or shine, more than 1,000 geothermal walls beneath the garage would harvest energy to heat and cool nearby museums and government buildings. It might sound too good to be true, but acclaimed Washington architect Arthur Cotton Moore is spearheading the initiative, lending significant credibility to it.”

Will Grunewald, The Washingtonian, March 31, 2015

“An energetic and civic-minded nonprofit organization called National Coalition to Save the Mall is promoting what sounds like a pretty sensible idea: build parking under the Mall. The facility, which the group suggests might stretch from Ninth to 12th streets NW, would serve a triple purpose, providing on its bottom level cisterns to collect rainwater and groundwater runoff and a reservoir to capture water in the event of major floods. . . Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) told us that a great deal of “due diligence” obviously would be needed but that she liked the coalition’s idea of a public-private partnership and the principle of going underground.”

The Washington Post editorial, March 30, 2013