Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2001 Memorials and Museums

2001 Memorials and Museums

The un-officially named 'South Capitol Mall' concept from USNCPC's 1995-1997 Extending the Legacy, appears with a somewhat different design in its 2001 Memorials and Museums

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Some Points Concerning South Capitol Street

- only 6 years ago, officials spent some $120 million to re-do (shorten and construct a new northern touchdown) upon the existing bridge for aesthetics (avoiding having the elevated bridge segment alongside the new stadium); this was done even though that bridge was already scheduled to soon be replaced- thus arguing in favor of some DELAY to better amortize that project's cost.

- planning was shaped and expedited by Nationals Stadium, which appeared in a 2002 stadium study pre-dating the 2003 decision to go against the 'Extending the Legacy' planning of the 1990s and the 2001 Museums and Memorials and abandon the central concept of a South Capitol Street corridor widened to accommodate a new linear park, essentially a southern leg of the national mall or 'South Capitol Mall'.  The oval shaped South Capitol Commons, appearing since 2005 is USNCPC's effort in salvaging the un-officially named 'South Capitol Mall' concept, with the vertical oval chosen to somewhat emulate the aspect ratio of the shape of a linear park somewhat, particularly with a southwards to the waterfront landscaping.

- Any and all of the envisioned planning for the South Capitol Street corridor and area has massive re-development to the east and the west, with various plans with renderings showing different degrees of this to the west, involving the potential displacement and replacement of several hundred architecturally humble century old dwellings.   Not widening South Capitol Street was for the benefit of that Nationals Stadium, and the sole building alongside SCS to survive the re-development- the St Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, and itself does not guarantee preserving the neighborhoods to the west.  

- As all scenarios have massive redevelopment and thus a massive increase in the local population and trips, improving the road network to better accommodate the extra traffic - vehicular and pedestrian is necessary.  Yet strangely, urban planning here takes a suburban twist by attempting this all at grade (all on one level), allowing planning for a parallel vehicular tunnel to relocate some of this corridors traffic underground to languish, while wasting the existing short underpass at South Capitol and M Street, filling it in, rather than intelligently incorporating its space into a modern 2 x 2 cut and cover tunnelway beneath SCS to connect with the left-hand lanes of the yet to be built replacement South Capitol Street Bridge.

- The officially proposed oval shaped South Capitol Commons is constrained to the northeast by Nationals Stadium, but could otherwise be enlarged to the east and west to make it a circle- thus making a significantly more useable space for something monumental.

- The South Capitol Mall concept is of course physically constrained to the northeast by Nationals Stadium, St Vincent de Paul Church.  To the northwest its constrained so far only by a solitary new residential building- 1325 South Capitol Street.

- The South Capitol Street corridor is the center of Washington, D.C.'s 3 main axis that extend to a waterfront, between the National Mall culminating to the west at the Lincoln Memorial Traffic Circle, and to the east at East Capital Street - RFK Stadium, with Souh Capitol with a truly special vista.  To not do something monumentally suited would be a waste..