National Capital Planning Commission
Newsletter — May 2012

Talking About New Designs for the Mall

On May 31, representatives from the three winning design teams will discuss their concept proposals for the National Mall's iconic locations of Constitution Gardens, the Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument grounds, and Union Square. The program will be moderated by John Beardsley, Director of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. The program is presented in partnership with the Trust for the National Mall and the National Building Museum.

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Next Commission Meeting
June 7, 2012 | 12:30 pm

Live video from Commission meetings is available online at:

Recent Commission actions
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This Thursday - Sustainable Installation Planning

Commission Action: Security at the Bryan Courthouse

On May 3, the Commission approved preliminary and final site development plans for the installation of permanent physical security elements at the Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse that includes stationary bollards, retractable bollards and reinforced garden walls. The Commission commended the multiple agencies involved for their collaboration. "The project successfully balances public access with federal security needs while contributing to the urban fabric of Alexandria's Carlyle neighborhood," said NCPC Chairman L. Preston Bryant Jr.

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The U.S. Army Museum Advances

Final building plans were approved by NCPC for the National Museum of the United States Army on the North Post of Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia. The Army intends to submit the final site plans for the museum at a later date in tandem with the reconfiguration of the adjacent golf course.

The museum building and campus will be constructed in phases and will initially consist of an approximately 187,292 gross square foot museum building, landscaping, and parking. Later phases will include additional exhibit space and other exterior features. The museum is expected to attract an average of 740,000 visitors in the first year with an expected average of 600,000 visitors per year. The anticipated opening for the museum is in 2015.

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Staff News: New Director of Plan Review Named

Christine Saum, AIA, was named director of NCPC's Urban Design and Plan Review Division. Christine brings expertise in architecture, urban design, land use, and the environment to the job after serving as the agency's Chief Urban Designer. Prior to joining NCPC in 2003, she was the executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, an initiative established by the National Endowment for the Arts to improve the design of cities by educating elected leaders. She received a Master of Architecture from the Catholic University of America. In 2008, she was named a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.