Task Force to Outline Monument-Placement Plan: Limits Number of Memorials on Mall

By Williams, Clarence | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 8, 1999 | Go to article overview

Task Force to Outline Monument-Placement Plan: Limits Number of Memorials on Mall


Williams, Clarence, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


A proposal that would limit placing more monuments and museums on the national Mall will be announced today by a joint task force of commissions that approves memorials built in Washington.

If the proposal is adopted by the task force, future memorials would be directed away from the Mall and into all sections of the District. The National Capital Planning Commission, the National Capital Memorial Commission on behalf of the secretary of the Interior and the Commission of Fine Arts collaborated on the proposed policy and map and are seeking public comment.

"Our goal is to develop guidelines that preserve the urban design integrity of the nation's capital and ensure an adequate supply of commemorative sites for future generations," said Harvey Gantt, National Capital Planning Commission chairman.

The plan calls for future memorials to be built citywide to distribute cultural resources throughout the city and spur local economic development.

Not everyone, however, believes a Mall moratorium will be embraced.

"I think we all applaud that idea, but the memorial planners all want to be on the tour-bus circuit," said Charles Atherton, executive secretary of the Commission of Fine Arts.

The three commissions involved in the task force control and advise all site and design approvals of memorials in the nation's capital following congressional approval.

Memorials that have received approval before today are exempt from the plan, including the World War II memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

The outline to be released today represents the task force's efforts to get public input on moving monuments away from the limited amount of space on the Mall and into the city.

"It's a draft policy we have released for public comment," said Margaret Vanderhye, member of the National Planning Commission and chairman of the joint task force. …

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