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Press Release – August 8, 2012: Exhibits Envision the “3RD CENTURY MALL” and Washington Monument Grounds

Press Release – May 17, 2012: People’s Choice Winners Announced for National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds

Style Weekly – May 8, 2012: Higher Grounds – “Someday in the Park With George” takes an old monument to new places

Press Release – March 8, 2012
People’s Choice Winners for Washington Monument Grounds Competition to be announced May 17 in Washington

Washington Post – November 27, 2011: The Washington Monument re-imagined

Press Release – September 22, 2011
Public Voting Open for Washington Monument Grounds Ideas

Press Release – July 21, 2011
Six Winning Ideas Chosen for Washington Monument Competition

Oehme, van Sweden, Landscape Architects, Blog

The GW Hatchet – March 10, 2011: Mall Competition Moves forward

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – March 3, 2011: Friendship Designer has Bright Idea for Washington Monument Lawn

George Washington Today – February 24, 2011
A Monumental Idea – Four GW professors help lead a competition to gather ideas for improving the area around the Washington Monument.

Press Release – February 7, 2011
Jury Chooses 24 Bold Ideas for Washington Monument Competition

Press Release – November 16, 2010
Renowned Landscape Architect Joins WAMO Competition Jury

Press Release – November 9, 2010
Why Send Your Idea For The Washington Monument Grounds?

Washington Post – November 7, 2010
Iconic obelisk presents a monumental security issue

Press Release – October 19, 2010
WAMO Ideas Competition Extends Registration to November 30th

Press Release – October 5th, 2010
Distinguished Jury Announced for Washington Monument Grounds Ideas Competition

The GW Hatchet – September 23, 2010: Letters to the Editor – The purpose of our competition

The GW Hatchet – September 16, 2010: Ideas sought for monument grounds, GW students urged to participate in competition

Washington Post – September 12, 2010: One Monumental Design Opportunity

Washington Post – September 2nd, 2010: Competition Seeks Ideas to Improve Washington Monument Grounds

Press Release – September 1st, 2010
Washington Monument Competition Opens Registration

Press Release – June 8th, 2010
Do You – or Your Students or Colleagues – Have An Idea For the Washington Monument Grounds?


Press Release – August 8, 2012

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Contact: James P. Clark, AIA: 703-524-6616 or Judy Scott Feldman: 301-335-8490
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

Exhibits Envision the “3RD CENTURY MALL” and Washington Monument Grounds

August 8, 2012 Washington, DC — A two-part exhibition highlighting the historic plans for Washington, D.C. and visionary ideas for the National Mall and Washington Monument is now on display at the District Architecture Center’s SIGAL Gallery. The exhibition invites the public to explore the history and help shape the future of the National Mall as the great symbolic public space it was intended to be.

One part of the exhibition, THE 3RD CENTURY MALL: REINVENTING L’ENFANT’S LEGACY, illustrates the historic 1791 L’Enfant Plan and 1901 McMillan Plan that are the “Planning Constitution” for the nation’s capital. The exhibit explores ways to restore, expand, and reinvent the historic, visionary plans for Washington, D.C.

Another segment of the exhibition features the winners of THE NATIONAL IDEAS COMPETITION FOR THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT GROUNDS. This competition was sponsored by George Washington University and headed by an independent group of architects, historians, and professors. The competition invited the public to propose concepts to make the 60-plus acres more welcoming, inspiring, and connected to the rest of the National Mall. The idea for the competition came out of a realization that while the Washington Monument continues to be the defining feature of the Washington D.C. skyline, at ground level its vast open space remains unfinished.

According to the competition’s Executive Director, Ellen Goldstein, “This exhibition shows well how a transparent and engaging dialogue with the public can provide a fantastic spark in the process of designing the historic centerpiece.”

The free opening reception is scheduled for August 15, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the District of Columbia Architecture Center, located at 421 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC. The exhibition is open until September 15th during the DAC’s operating hours of Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, go to www.savethemall.org and www.wamocompetition.org.

About the District Architecture Center – The District Architecture Center is home to the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Washington Architectural Foundation, two organizations that advocate for architecture and the built environment, educate both professional architects and the public, and inspire design excellence through workshops, tours, exhibits, lectures, and special events.

For more information, www.wamocompetition.org.

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Press Release – May 17, 2012

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Contact: James P. Clark, AIA: 703-524-6616 or Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

People’s Choice Winners Announced for National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds

Washington, DC, May 17, 2012: Winners of the People’s Choice for the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds were announced today at the National AIA Convention in Washington DC. This multi-stage competition attracted participants from around the world, and an international public vote has resulted in two winners.

The People’s Forum by Karolina Kawiaka creates a national gathering place at the base of the Washington Monument. Karolina writes that the original plan for Washington DC “…defined two axes representing presidential leadership and democratic governance. 200 years later that vision is realized by a civic place that tells the story of the Washington Monument, creates a public forum for gatherings and completes a vision of the Mall as America’s front lawn.”

You and Me by Jin Woo Lim creates an interpretive pathway around the monument. Jinwoo’s presentation declares that “I propose a broad circular pathway that will create new relationships between visitors and the monument, the city and nature as the visitors move around it. Walls, slopes and steps rise and fall along the path, causing visitors to experience the presence of the Monument in different ways at different points.”

The competition came out of a realization that while the Washington Monument continues to the be the defining feature of the Washington skyline – and the centerpiece of the nation’s most important symbolic open space – at ground level its vast open space remains unfinished. The conversation created by the competition has quickly gained momentum since its inception in 2010.

A special exhibition, Someday in the Park with George, highlighting the history of the ground-breaking Competition and entries selected by the jury will be on display at the Virginia Center for Architecture in Richmond, Virginia until June 24. The exhibition was developed by a team of graduate students from the Museum Studies Program at The George Washington University. The competition is also part of exhibits currently at the National Building Museum and the National AIA Convention – both in Washington DC.

The competition has facilitated free discussion outside the highly sensitive political world of government review agencies, and it has inspired a diverse public to engage in a conversation about landscape, sustainability, architecture, planning, democracy, history, civic life and more. It suggests that planning for the future of the National Mall should begin at its center. The competition has received glowing press attention and has sparked numerous design competitions for other parts of the National Mall. The website www.wamocompetition.org will continue to serve as an educational resource for students, educators, and citizens.

For more information, www.wamocompetition.org.

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Style Weekly – May 8, 2012: Higher Grounds – "Someday in the Park With George" takes an old monument to new places.

Link to Style Weekly Article


Press Release – March 8, 2012

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Contact: James P. Clark, AIA: 703-524-6616 or Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

Virginia Center for Architecture show opening April 12 in Richmond will exhibit the work of the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds

March 8, 2012 Washington, DC — The National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds, launched nearly two years ago, will announce two winners selected by the public on May 17. Since online voting began last fall, thousands of people from around the world have voted. Those who want to be a part of this unique competition have only until May 16 to cast their vote online at http://www.wamocompetition.org/vote.

Competition Chairman James P. Clark, FAIA, speaking on behalf of the Steering Committee of university professors, architects, landscape architects, and civic leaders, called on the public to “Join in making history by voting for your favorite of the final six! The ideas generated by this competition form part of the long tradition of ideas proposed for the Washington Monument grounds and reflect the values and aspirations of the public today.”

The announcement of the People’s Choice will be made at the national convention of the American Institute of Architects in Washington during a morning session devoted to the Competition. Clark, along with Steering Committee colleagues Adele Ashkar, ASLA, Judy Scott Feldman, Ph.D., and jury chair Greg Hunt, FAIA, will lead a discussion of the educational goals, the two-stage jury process, and the challenge of choosing winners from among the wide range of diverse ideas.

A special exhibition, Someday in the Park with George, highlighting the history of the ground-breaking Competition and entries selected by the jury will open on April 12 at the Virginia Center for Architecture in Richmond and will run until June 24. The exhibition was developed by a team of graduate students from the Museum Studies Program at The George Washington University under the leadership of professor Laura Schiavo.

The Virginia Center for Architecture (www.virginiaarchitecture.org) itself has a strong tie to the National Mall. Its home since 2003 is the 27,000-square-foot Tudor-Revival residence built by architect John Russell Pope in 1919. Pope also designed the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the National Archives, and the West Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

For more information, www.wamocompetition.org.

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Washington Post – November 27, 2011: The Washington Monument re-imagined

Link to download scanned Washington Post article


Press Release – July 21, 2011

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Contact: James P. Clark, AIA: 703-524-6616 or Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

Public Voting Open for Washington Monument Grounds Ideas

September 22, 2011 Washington, DC — The National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds – a truly unique and global competition – is ready for the public to weigh in and vote for the “People’s Choice” favorites from among the six winning ideas selected by an independent jury last July. The distinguished jury representing the fields of architecture, theater, history, journalism, and landscape architecture chose the six winners from a field of 24 semi-finalists.

The winning ideas – Arcs of Shade, A Great Inclined Plane, Field of Stars, You and Me, The People’s Forum, and Monument of Unity – were deemed by the jury to best fulfill the challenge set by the Competition, which was launched in the summer of 2010. The American people were asked at that time to send in their ideas to make these iconic but unfinished grounds more welcoming, educational, and effectively used by the public for decades to come.

Voting takes place online, at the website wamocompetition.org. The public is invited to view displays of the six different concepts, listen to interviews with the competition winners, and submit an electronic ballot. Voting will remain open until spring 2012 when the Competition will be the subject of an exhibition from April 5th to June 24th at the Virginia Center on Architecture. This fall, some of the semifinalists’ ideas will be highlighted in the “Unbuilt Washington” exhibition at the National Building Museum, which opens on November 19th.

James P. Clark AIA who chairs the Competition says public voting is crucial to the spirit of the Competition. “We wanted this competition to educate people from schoolchildren to design professionals about this important civic space and stimulate them to think creatively about its future. Opening it to anyone 12 and up was part of that goal. So is the public voting.”

Clark explains that the competition began from the realization that the 60-plus acre Monument grounds never were completed as intended and that is why this landscape is missing the shade trees, public amenities, and meaningful relationship to George Washington and the founding ideals that are the heart of the Mall’s symbolism.

“People may be surprised by the six winning ideas,” he said. “If the competition stimulates them to imagine a more lively and inspiring future for this great public open space, we’ll feel we’ve succeeded.”

For more information, www.wamocompetition.org.

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Press Release – July 21, 2011

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Contact: James P. Clark, AIA: 703-524-6616 or Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

Six Winning Ideas Chosen for Washington Monument Competition
The American public will vote on the “People’s Choice” in fall 2011

July 21, 2011 Washington, DC — Six winners have been selected for the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds. Images of the refined idea concepts will be revealed in late September.

“We worked hard to get a diversity of approaches. We could not limit ourselves to five because the six winners were more demonstrative of the range of ideas,” explained jury chair Gregory Hunt, FAIA.

The Competition Stage 2 winners are:

Arcs of Shade by Stephen Lederach, Princeton, NJ – Formal, curvilinear design of trees completes the pedestrian experience of shaded walks from the Capitol through the Monument grounds to the Lincoln Memorial.

An Inclined Plane by Julian Hunt, Lucrecia Laudi, Monling Lee and Miguel Angel Maldonado Torres, Washington, DC – The bold gesture of planes connects the great obelisk beyond the grounds to the larger Mall cross axis.

Field of Stars by Catherine Peek, Pittsburgh, PA – Poetic, ephemeral use of light gives human scale and nighttime interest to the site as well as the larger Mall landscape.

You and Me by Jinwoo Lim, Seoul, Korea– Highlights the centrality of the obelisk to the pedestrian experience of views to and from the Monument and of the historical significance of George Washington, the founding of the republic, and the central Mall axis.

The People’s Forum by Karolina Kawiaka, White River Junction, VT– An amphitheater supports the important civic role of the Mall to American democracy and emphasizes the centrality of the site to the Mall cross axis at the Jefferson Pier.

Monument of Unity by Jacques Prins, Kevin Battarbee and Egidijus Kasakaitis, Gouda, The Netherlands – A majestic skylit hall circling the obelisk’s foundation, accessible from cardinal directions, unifies the entrance experience and historical interpretation for all visitors.

In 2010, the organizers of the Competition asked interested individuals to think how they would complete the unfinished Monument grounds and make them more welcoming for broad civic engagement, hewing to issues of historic visions and modern sustainability, while enhancing the civic and educational experience that the Washington Monument presents for the next generation of visitors.

Hundreds responded from around the world and 24 semi-finalists were selected by the Stage 1 jury on January 28th. The Stage 2 panel of 5 distinguished jurors met on June 23rd and reviewed the semi-finalists, debated, and selected the final 6 winners whose entries met in full measure the challenges set forth by the Competition founders. In the final stage of the competition in fall 2011 the public will be invited to select the “People’s Choice.”

“We carefully debated a range of notions from minimalist improvements to a major, large-scale reworking of the landscape,” said juror David Hackett Fisher, Pulitzer Prize-winning George Washington historian. “An organizing concept that emerged was that this unique site should serve as an agora, a common space that has many layers of meaning from the founding ideas of the republic to First Amendment activities, as well as practical needs for circulation, security, and flood control.”

Mr. Hunt, former dean of architecture at Catholic University, reflected on the differences jurors had about the major scope of some proposed changes and spoke of the inherent tension between doing a lot and doing very little. “We seriously considered the extremes expressed by the ideas between intrusiveness versus unobtrusiveness. In the end, we chose creative, exciting, and challenging ideas that will give the public real options to choose from and inspire people to think about the long-term possibilities.”

Former Washington Post architecture critic Benjamin Forgey came to the jury looking for simplicity and minimalist designs for the grounds to protect the mound’s open character. “Some of the entries proposed dramatic, poetic, sometimes spectacular changes that amazed but also worried me,” he said. “But that is the nature of an ideas competition. My hope is that the process will stimulate public awareness and discussion of the kinds of changes needed to improve these sacred spaces at the very center of the National Mall.”

For juror Joy Zinoman, Founding Artistic Director of Washington’s Studio Theatre, some of the best ideas found ways to “create welcoming gathering spaces to support modern public use and connect with the larger Washington community.”

Juror Eric Groft, ASLA, Principal of Oehme, van Sweden & Associates landscape architects, was pleased with the number of the entries which succeeded in “bringing gestures large and small into a cohesive, unified idea.”

Competition Chairman James P. Clark, AIA, on behalf of the entire Steering Committee, applauded the work of the jury and the serious engagement of so many individuals who worked hard to meet the challenging issues posed by the Competition, and the grounds themselves. “We expect the notable ideas submitted for this Competition will be the real legacy of this Competition. They will promote awareness, education and thoughtful development of the Monument grounds.”

For more information, www.wamocompetition.org.

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Oehme, van Sweden, Landscape Architects, Blog

Link to Oehme, van Sweden, Landscape Architects, Blog


The GW Hatchet – March 10, 2011: Mall Competition Moves Forward

Link to GW Hatchet article


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – March 3, 2011: Friendship Designer has Bright Idea for Washington Monument Lawn

Link to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article


George Washington Today – February 24, 2011: A Monumental Idea – Four GW professors help lead a competition to gather ideas for improving the area around the Washington Monument

Link to George Washington Today Website


Press Release – February 7, 2011

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Contact: James P. Clark, AIA: 703-524-6616 or Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

Jury Chooses 24 Bold Ideas for Washington Monument Competition

February 7, 2011 Washington, DC — A sustainable meadow, pinpoints of light dotting the landscape, a sunken amphitheater suitable for performances and sporting events, and an underground museum space were among the twenty-four ideas selected January 28th from hundreds of entries to the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds. Over 500 participants from across the U.S. and around the world submitted their ideas.

The jury of seven included distinguished designers, historians, a Washington cultural leader, and a futurist. Many of the winning entries offered subtle, minimal interventions that used shadows, low plantings, and contemplative messages, while others proposed major projects calling for cuts into the landscape to create a more welcoming and educational environment for visitors.

More than half of the winning ideas proposed ways to highlight the historically important but overlooked Jefferson Pier that marks the original intended site for the Washington Monument, at the intersection of a line from the Capitol and another from the White House.

Many entries tried to reinforce the geometries intended by L’Enfant and the 1902 McMillan Commission’s plans for the grounds of the Monument. Other winners included dramatic new landscape treatments inspired by the historical ecology of this land that was once the shoreline of the Potomac River and Tiber Creek.

“We were looking for intriguing ideas that also captured the special quality of this public open space in the center of the National Mall, and in some cases the best ideas were presented very simply, capturing a thoughtful approach to history and meaning with a compelling design statement or conceptual sketch,” said jury chair Raymond Gastil, renowned city planner.

Juror Joy Zinoman, Founding Artistic Director of D.C.’s Studio Theater, was looking for “uncluttered exuberance” and for ideas to humanize the huge scale of the Monument and grounds to create a welcoming space for public events, protests, and musical and theatrical performances. Her favorites included two sunken amphitheatre proposals on the western slope facing the World War II Memorial, and theatrical uses of in-ground lights to intrigue and engage pedestrians as they walk around the obelisk.

Art historian Kirk Savage, author of the award-winning book Monument Wars, and David Hackett Fischer, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Washington’s Crossing, wanted to see designs that reinvigorated the area around the Jefferson Pier to highlight its historical associations with President Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Pierre L’Enfant at the creation of Washington, DC, and the Mall.

For internationally renowned landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson and urban eco-designer Mitchell Joachim, proposals to create a meadow and use vernacular horticulture near the Constitution Avenue boundary are “very timely, educational, and sustainable” responses to the natural ecology of this part of the Mall.

Jurors began the day with a chilly early morning walk on the snow-covered Monument grounds with Mall expert Richard Longstreth of George Washington University who is a member of the Competition Steering Committee. Standing there at the spot where the axis from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial crosses the axis from the White House to the Jefferson Memorial, they were reminded of how powerful the cross axis idea is, how unrecognized the Jefferson Pier marking that spot is now, and how right it is for it to be celebrated. Juror Sara Hart, a New York-based design journalist, confessed, “I was bewildered why there were so many entries that featured the Jefferson Pier but now I can see it is crucially important.”

During deliberations, competition Chairman James P. Clark, President of the Virginia Society of the AIA, urged the jury to make a special effort to focus on the essence of the idea since not all entrants had the skills to develop elaborate visual presentations. Clark said: “It’s so easy to be seduced by a beautiful image, but we wanted to make sure that the jury also looked for good ideas hidden in a narrative or simple graphics. This allowed a twelve-year-old to compete against a professional designer.”

The jury wrestled with questions of whether “do no harm” should be the starting point for their deliberations, whether today’s open setting could or should be altered in a way that would interfere with future gatherings, whether any or all types of recreation were appropriate to this site.

Summing up the winning entries, the jurors described what appealed to them about each idea that will be further developed by the semi-finalists in stage two of the competition. For example, they wanted to hear more about the idea for using people’s footsteps to animate new water features – making democratic action visible. Would a footbridge across the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial successfully connect that remote area to the Monument grounds? How would the pathways cut into the Monument landscape to create 64 different views actually work on the hilly site? How would the underground spaces affect the simple landscape above? Could history timelines be incorporated into the landscape without being too literal and didactic? How would some of the landscape designs address the serious problem of flooding?

Gastil stated that many of the projects are promising but are still early in development. In stage two, semi-finalists will be asked to develop the ideas more fully into potential demonstration projects. The jury expects that at the next stage the ideas will show a clearer understanding of the history of this landscape and public use of this space, as well as the ecological problems such as flooding that pose real challenges to this part of the Mall.

The Washington Monument grounds have a long history of designs that were never implemented or completed. Yet these influenced the evolution of the Monument grounds as well as how people interpret that space. The steering committee for the Washington Monument ideas competition hopes that the winning designs, whether eventually built or not, will continue the rich legacy of how Americans are inspired by this revered public space in the heart of the National Mall.

The 24 semi-finalists are listed below.

To view images of the semi-finalist entries, or for more information about the jury and Competition and to support the next stages of the Competition, visit www.wamocompetition.org.

  • Gilbert Gorski
  • Alan McWain, Michael Herbert, Hoonin Chang, and Daren Crabill
  • Stephen Lederach and Henry Arnold
  • Gloria Lau and Vivian Hu
  • Dominique Dupont, Jessica Dunn, and Kristina Guist
  • Matthew Witt, Shawn Johnson, and Nicole Crigler
  • Luis Longhi
  • Julian Hunt, Lucrecia Laudi and Monling Lee
  • Catherine Peek-Williams
  • Brandon Gordon, Kate Connelly, Risa Abraham, Charly Williams, and Ruemel Panglao
  • Marilyn Sheppard
  • Jin Woo Lim
  • Grace Lim (under 18)
  • Joey Ijjas
  • Stephen Fowler
  • Sofia Castelo
  • Megan Griscom and Elizabeth Stoel
  • Karolina Kawiaka
  • Patricia Sabin, Enrique Manuel Blanco Lorenzo, and Rebeca Blanco Lorenzo
  • Robert L. Miller
  • Elizabeth Gresk
  • Ken Reed
  • Roehrle Zell and Oszkay Zell
  • Jacques Prins

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Press Release – November 16th, 2010

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Contact: Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694 or James Clark: 703-524-6616
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

Renowned Landscape Architect Joins WAMO Competition Jury
Registration closes November 30th

Washington, November 6, 2010 — Internationally renowned landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson has joined the distinguished jury for the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds.

“We are honored to have Ms. Gustafson round out the Competition jury,” said Competition Chair and Virginia Society AIA President-elect James P. Clark. “Her international experience in innovative landscape architecture adds a vital component to the panel which represents all the many facets we believe the Competition touches—architecture, design, history, commemoration, urban ecology, civic involvement, and even theater.”

Clark states that Ms. Gustafson’s worldwide work complements what is quickly becoming an international event. In addition to participants from around the globe, the Competition is attracting attention from students, retirees, professionals, academics and amateurs alike.

Kathryn Gustafson’s award-winning works are known as groundbreaking, contemporary designs that intuitively incorporate sculptural qualities that are fundamental to the human experience of landscape. She is an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architecture, medalist of the French Academy of Architecture, and recipient of both the Chrysler Design Award and London’s Jane Drew Prize. Her award-winning work can be found throughout Europe, North American and the Middle East including the Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian’s Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture in Washington, DC, the Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park, and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in London.

Serving with Ms. Gustafson on the Competition jury are:

Dr. David Hackett Fischer – distinguished historian and Pulitzer Prize winning author
Raymond Gastil, AICP – renowned expert in architecture and landscape architecture
Dr. Mitchell Joachim – leader in innovative ecological design and urbanism
Dr. Kirk Savage – noted art historian and Smithsonian’s Charles C. Eldredge Prize recipient
Joy Zinoman – innovative artistic founder of The Studio Theater in Washington DC

The Ideas Competition was established by an independent group of university professors, architects, designers, and civic leaders partnering with The George Washington University. While the Washington Monument is the defining feature of the Washington, D.C. skyline — and the centerpiece of the nation’s most symbolic public open space — at ground level its vast open space remains unfinished. The Competition will engage the American public – including students, teachers, professors, and parents – in an educational opportunity to explore the role of the Washington Monument grounds in the civic life of our democracy.

The Competition is open to anyone 12 years of age and older. Participants must register by November 30, 2010. Entry submission deadline is December 18.

For more information about the jury and Competition, and to register, go to www.wamocompetition.org.

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Press Release – November 9th, 2010

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Contact: Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694 or James Clark: 703-524-6616
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

WHY SEND YOUR IDEA FOR THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT GROUNDS?
There are hundreds of reasons — here are our Top Ten!

Washington, November 9, 2010 — With only weeks until the November 30th registration deadline, leaders of the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds report a surge in public interest they hope will stir even greater participation by teachers, designers, and dreamers.

One eighth grade teacher from Charlottesville reports bringing her class to Washington to personally inspect the site, and she said that students are thrilled to see this enormous space as a tablet for testing ideas about America.

A graduate professor in communications hopes the competition will illuminate American history and important heroes.

An architecture firm is using the competition as a forum for an office wide discussion about design and planning.

Competition chairman Jim Clark lists the top ten reasons people say they’re participating:

  1. It’s getting noisy on the Mall: I want my voice heard!
  2. Our school is using the competition as an educational tool for history and art.
  3. I want to shape history with creative ideas.
  4. Big things start with an idea!
  5. This space belongs to me and all Americans – I want to take ownership!
  6. The grounds should say more about 21st Century America.
  7. It’s about time to make this space even better than it is now.
  8. This is a design opportunity for me – I want to be part of something bigger.
  9. I want to make this a Greener Place!
  10. I like it just as it is, and I want to tell you why.

Every generation leaves its mark on the Mall, and you can see that sweep of ideas over history at www.wamocompetition.org. The Washington Monument (WAMO) encourages Americans of all ages and experience levels to submit creative ideas for making the area around the Monument more welcoming, educational, and effectively used by the public.

The Competition is sponsored by an independent group of university professors, architects, designers, and civic leaders partnering with The George Washington University, the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects, and other educational organizations and universities. The Competition is open to anyone 12 years of age and older. Register by November 31, 2010 and enter your submission by December 18, 2010.

For more information the Competition and to register, visit www.wamocompetition.org.

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Washington Post – November 7, 2010: Iconic obelisk presents a monumental security issue
Front page story on possible security changes at WAMO being explored by government officials

Link to WP Article


Press Release – October 19th, 2010

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Contact: Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694 or James Clark: 703-524-6616
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

WAMO Ideas Competition Extends Registration to November 30th

Washington, October 19, 2010 — The registration deadline for the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds has been extended to November 30, 2010, from the original deadline of October 31st. The deadline for submissions will remain December 18th. Register and submit an idea at the WAMO website, wamocompetition.org.

“We heard from many educators who have made the Competition project an option for fall semester classes that students need more time to develop their ideas and decide if they want to register,” said Competition chairman James Clark. The new deadline falls after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The WAMO Ideas Competition was announced in June and is open to anyone 12 and older. This competition gives Americans of all ages an opportunity to help shape a national discussion of creative and innovative ideas for the Monument grounds. What are your ideas for the Washington Monument Grounds? Do you have a creative idea for how this 60-acre public open space can be revamped? Or do you think it is perfect the way it is?

Some have questioned whether it’s possible to come up with a truly good idea in the 18 days between the registration and submission deadlines. To that, Kenneth Bowling, a member of the Competition Steering Committee and adjunct professor at George Washington University, responds with a bit of history about the man President Washington entrusted to design the City of Washington. “It took Peter L’Enfant fourteen days from the time of his arrival in Georgetown to complete the draft of his idea for the entire 6000 acre federal city,” said Bowling. “This was a draft, not the final detailed plan that was engraved–but it was the idea and it only took him two weeks.”

The Competition, organized in spring 2010, is led by an independent Steering Committee of university professors, architects and designers, and civic leaders in partnership with The George Washington University. Sponsors include Learning Times, Albert H. Small, George Washington University, the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects, Catholic University, American University, the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, the University of Delaware, the University of Texas, and other educational and professional organizations. The jury is composed of distinguished individuals who are creative and forward thinkers and span a variety of careers and perspectives: architecture, community planning, design, academia (geography, history, American studies), civics, and theater arts. Competition leaders are waiting for confirmation from a prominent landscape architect who has tentatively agreed to be on the jury.

Check the WAMO website for more information about the history of the Monument and the National Mall – including images of rare maps, documents, and other historical background – and background about the Competition Steering Committee, jurors, and sponsors from across America. And start thinking about how you think this important public space might be enhanced for use by future generations of Americans and visitors to the Nation’s Capital.

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Press Release – October 5th, 2010

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694 or James Clark: 703-524-6616
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

Distinguished Jury Announced for Washington Monument Grounds Ideas Competition
Registration open until October 31st

October 5, 2010 Washington, DC — Competition Chair James P. Clark, AIA, President-Elect of the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects, has announced the formation of a distinguished jury for the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds.

“This panel of individuals represents all the many facets we believe the Competition touches—architecture, design, history, commemoration, urban ecology, civic involvement, and even theater,” Clark says.

  • Dr. David Hackett Fischer is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Washington Crossing the Potomac and Earl Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University.
  • Raymond Gastil, AICP, is former Director of the Van Alen Institute and Director of Gastilworks Planning and Design, a firm with a focus on interdisciplinary approaches of architecture and landscape architecture to public space.
  • Sara Douglas Hart, a New York based design journalist and curator, has written extensively about building technology and innovation. She curated the exhibition Innovate:Integrate on view through January 15, 2011 at the AIA New York Center for Architecture.
  • Dr. Mitchell Joachim, an Associate Professor at New York University, is co-founder of Terreform ONE + Terrefuge, a leader in innovative ecological design and urbanism with a focus on adapting physical and social ecological principles to architecture. In 2008 he was named as WIRED magazine’s Smart List of “15 people the next president should listen to.”
  • Dr. Kirk Savage is Chair of History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and recipient of the Smithsonian’s Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art for his book Monument Wars: Washington DC, the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape.
  • Joy Zinoman is the innovative artistic founder/director and now Director Emeritus of The Studio Theater in Washington DC, which received 225 Helen Hayes Award nominations during her leadership. Her vision also helped transform an urban neighborhood in the heart of the Nation’s Capital.

The Washington Monument (WAMO) Competition invites Americans of all ages and experience levels to submit creative ideas for making the area around the Monument, at the center of the National Mall, more welcoming, educational, and effectively used by the public. The Competition will spark greater public interest and lively debate about the present day use of this symbolic landscape in the civic life of our democracy.

The Competition is sponsored by an independent group of university professors, architects, designers, and civic leaders partnering with The George Washington University and other educational institutions.

The Competition is open to anyone 12 years of age and older. Participants must register by October 31, 2010. Entry submission deadline is December 18.

For more information, go to: www.wamocompetition.org

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The GW Hatchet – September 23, 2010: Letters to the EditorThe purpose of our competition

Dear Editor,

We welcome the story by Samantha Stone in your Sept. 16, 2010 edition, ("Ideas Sought for Monument Grounds") discussing our National Ideas Competition. However, I wanted to help address Thomas Bower, president of the Foggy Bottom Historic District Conservancy, who is quoted in the article stating his strong disagreement with the competition’s purpose.

I want to underscore that the purpose of the competition is educational, and that the resulting submissions are intended to stimulate a national conversation about the civic value of this important landscape. The Competition Steering Committee members have studied the many plans for the Mall and elements near and around it over time, realized or not, folly and genius. Indeed, we have two distinguished Mall historians involved with the competition – one on the Steering Committee, and one who is a juror. We cannot imagine why Mr. Bower would oppose having people of all ages engaged in thinking about how it might be further enhanced for the enjoyment of all.

The results of the competition may either confirm that the status quo is our best solution or it may also offer some better alternatives. More importantly, the competition will keep us from taking this great historic place for granted. It is an ideas competition, so it is not limited to only design considerations. We welcome Mr. Bower to submit his idea of leaving the Monument area just as it is and let our diverse and distinguished jury consider it! As anyone can see from our website (www.wamocompetition.org), enthusiasm for the competition is widespread. We encourage the reporter to seek out other voices in the community about this topic, especially as the Washington Monument is not at all a part of Mr. Bower’s neighborhood or jurisdiction. Open space is to be valued on such a large, public area that is the front yard of our nation’s democracy. It does not have to be vacant to remain open, and become more meaningful and welcoming to all visitors.

Ellen L. Goldstein is the executive director of the Washington Monument Competition

Link to GW Article


The GW Hatchet – September 16, 2010: Ideas sought for monument grounds, GW students urged to participate in competition

Link to GW Article


Washington Post – September 12, 2010: One Monumental Design Opportunity

Link to Washington Post Website       Link to scanned article


Washington Post – September 2nd, 2010: Competition Seeks Ideas to Improve Washington Monument Grounds

Link to Washington Post Website       Link to scanned article


Press Release – September 1st, 2010

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Contact: Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694 or James Clark: 703-524-6616
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

Washington Monument Competition Opens Registration

September 1, 2010 Washington, DC — Individuals 12 or older with an idea for making the Washington Monument grounds more welcoming, educational, and better used by the public can now register for the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds. Registration must be done online by October 31st at www.wamocompetition.org.

“We’ve heard from people all over the country excited about the Competition so we’re expecting a flood of registrations especially now that schools and universities are back in session,” said architect James Clark who chairs the Steering Committee for the Competition.

The competition, Clark said, is about ideas, and they don’t have to be just design ideas, so professionals won’t have an advantage. “It has something for everyone – art, architecture, landscape architecture, history, civics, geography, ecology, environmental science, even engineering.”

The idea for the competition came out of a realization by local historians and designers that past designs for the Monument grounds were never realized and maybe are no longer the best solution for the American people. The aim is to spark a lively national conversation about the monument, George Washington, American history, founding ideals, and the importance of this 60-acre symbolic public open space in the heart of the capital.

The Competition website includes further information about the program, registration, and educational materials. The “Resources” page has been developed to help people learn more about the Monument. It includes a short history video, historic maps and views, the latest FEMA flood map, aerial views, and engineering studies.

Among intriguing historical facts is an explanation of why the Monument grounds were never completed. Few people realize that the Washington Monument was built on the banks of the Potomac River and that the land around it is fill. Historically, this has caused concern that cutting into the soil for new construction could undermine the Monument’s foundation, which is not built to bedrock. Clark says that while this condition might inspire some Competition entries to take on the problem, it will not be a factor for the jury evaluating ideas.

Entries are welcome from individuals or teams of up to 10 people. The cost per entry is $25 for individuals or teams 18 and older and $10 for under 18.

For more information, go to: www.wamocompetition.org

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Press Release – June 8th, 2010

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ellen Goldstein: 202-253-5694 or Adele Ashkar: 202-994-0047
National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds
www.wamocompetition.org

Do You – or Your Students or Colleagues – Have An Idea For the Washington Monument Grounds?
Seeking the public’s creative input to shape history at the heart of the National Mall

June 8, 2010 Washington, DC — An independent group of university professors, architects and designers, and civic leaders, partnering with The George Washington University, have come together to launch a National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds (WAMO) in fall 2010. They hope that the American public, especially students, teachers, professors, and parents, will see this educational effort as an opportunity to tap their creativity and engage with history and civics on these historic grounds.

According to Competition Steering Committee Chair James Clark, AIA, President-Elect of the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects, excitement is being generated for the competition, and has attracted a distinguished panel of jurors. “We are delighted to have enthusiastic support from prestigious organizations like George Washington University and expect to receive hundreds of exciting ideas from students, professionals, and others who have a profound interest in the future of this symbolic focal point in our nation’s capital.”

The idea for this Competition came out of a realization that while the Washington Monument continues as the defining feature of the Washington, D.C. skyline — and the centerpiece of the nation’s most symbolic public open space — at ground level its vast open space remains unfinished. While recent work on this cultural landscape by the Olin Studio has brought an unprecedented level of elegance, security and accessibility to the space, Competition leaders ask: “How can this landscape continue to tell our uniquely American story into the future?”

The Competition also hopes to heighten public interest in George Washington, the Revolution and other chapters in the larger American story, as well as the role of the Washington Monument grounds in the civic life of our democracy.

A panel of distinguished American designers and planners at the beginning of the last century recommended a vision for the entire Mall, including these grounds that they regarded as the “gem of the Mall system.” Their plans were never fully realized. The Competition is not intended to develop plans for the Monument grounds but rather to invite the public to provide creative ideas as to how the area might be shaped to better suit the needs of the American people in the 21st Century.

This summer the first “webinar” on the history of the Washington Monument grounds within the larger history of the National Mall will be available on the WAMO website. It will educate and help to stimulate ideas by competition entrants.

Registration ends October 31, 2010 and the first stage of the Competition will close in December 2010. The final stage concludes by the end of summer 2011 with a public exhibit of winning ideas in Washington D.C. For more information, including how to register and participate in the Competition, please go to our website: www.wamocompetition.org

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