A World War II memorial redesigned to leave a softer architectural footprint on the crowded National Mall is a new entry in the capital's unending battle over the style and shape of national monuments.
His first design rebuffed by the Commission on Fine Arts, architect Friedrich St.Florian returned Tuesday with a plan that would result in a smaller, lighter, lower memorial to the World War II generation.St.Florian apparently took to heart criticism that his first design was so massive in its center-stage position on the mall that it would obstruct treasured vistas of the Washington monument and Lincoln Memorial.
"It simply wouldn't fit," one critic said a year ago.
The architect started over, discarding the 50 stone columns, interior rooms and the surrounding earthworks called berms he originally included.
The original 7.4-acre site and a redesigned memorial plaza were retained.
"The refinements fully respect the memorial's historic surroundings, the magnificent vistas and the site's park-like setting," St.Florian said.
The new plan centers on the existing Rainbow Pool at the head of the Reflecting Pool, which stretches to the Lincoln Memorial. Groves of existing elm trees would besaved and incorporated into the design.
The memorial plaza would be lowered beneath the line of sight and surrounded by metal-topped granite walls broken on each side by arched entrances. St.Florian described the walls as a pair of embracing arms representing national unity during the war.
St.Florian said the final design could include inscriptions and art work, cascade fountains in the central pool, stepped waterfalls on the Lincoln Memorial side, a symbolic torch and perhaps beds of white roses and other flowers and shrubs.
The altered preliminary design will be resubmitted to the fine arts commission next week.