A decidedly stranger project takes shape on Massachusetts Avenue NW, not far from the Vice Presidential mansion and Naval Observatory—–the Kahlil Gibran Memorial, a District oddity.
Freeway Park, 1976, Seattle, WA, Lawrence Halprin, Of recent efforts to declaw the park by ripping out a third of the waterfalls, Birnbaum says, “It’s like removing two of the Burghers of Calais! This was the first park built over a freeway in America. It’s magical and confrontational. Today you have to squint to get the impact; they’ve added garish plantings, removed benches to deter the homeless, and have plans for a sculpture garden, when the whole place is a sculpture.”
Commissioned to be the headquarters of the US Pension Bureau and now home
to the National Building Museum architect Montgomery C. Megis’s brick building was completed in 1887. Photo by Matthew Monteith.
In the late 1930s Congress mandated an art museum for the National Mall, initially getting behind a design by Eliel Saarinen. Gordon Bunshaft would come to design that museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Photo by Matthew Monteith.