CFA: Don’t Substantially Modify Pershing Park

Commission takes no action; urges less of a focus on modifying the existing park for a proposed World War I commemoration.

In a letter to Robert Vogel, Regional Director of the National Park Service, The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) stated, “Given the intimate scale of the historic park, [the Commission] urged the reconsideration of the commemorative elements proposed, both in typology and location, recommending that a smaller intervention may be more appropriate: perhaps a single sculpture in the round, or multiple elements distributed within or at the perimeter of the site.”

CFA also showed indifference to a proposed re-configuration of the park’s existing pool.

“[The Commission] opposes the transformation of the existing central pool—with its characteristic edge treatment of terraced plantings on two sides—into a vestigial scrim of intermittent water set into a field of stone paving.”

In the mid-1980’s OvS implemented a robust plant palette at Pershing Park, which softened the park’s stone structure and established shaded areas rife with texture, fragrance, movement, and birdsong. The park buffered the clamor of the surrounding city, offering nearby office workers a midday respite and tourists a retreat from the summer sun.

Pershing Park

Photo by Volkmar Wentzel

Pershing Park

Photo by Volkmar Wentzel