The winners of the 2011 Vision Awards have been  announced. This year’s recipients are Civil War Defenses of Washington Trail, Deanwood Community Center and Library, All Hallows Guild of Washington National Cathedral, Lifetime Achievement Awards – Judy Scott Feldman and Elizabeth “Libby” Ulman Rowe, Barbara Zartman Award for Planning and Zoning Advocacy – Meg Maguire.

Civil War Defenses of Washington Trail

The Civil War Defenses of Washington (CWDW) Trail will connect the network of Civil War earthwork forts and adjacent parkland, linking communities in and around DC to recreational opportunities and local historic sites.  It is an innovative and collaborative initiative between the National Park Service and Arlington County, City of Alexandria, Fairfax County and Washington Area Bicyclist Association.  It is directly tied to the 1901 McMillan Commission’s vision for a city unified by civic and park spaces, a plan that was supported in the 1920s by the Committee of 100 on the Federal City but only partially implemented.   The focus for today’s plans for the CWDW Trail is an urban greenway for biking and hiking. This concept was recently reinforced by the Capital Space Plan, adopted by the National Capital Planning Commission in 2010, which called for linking the Fort Circle Parks physically and programmatically.   It also creatively fulfills many concepts recommended by the Committee of 100 in our report “A Call to Action,” submitted in response to the National Park Service’s draft management plan in 2003.  And it is especially timely now, as the nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

Deanwood Community Center and Library

When a new library was being planned for the Deanwood neighborhood it was an opportunity to fulfill many of the residents’ needs.  In the summer of 2010 the collaborative efforts of several DC agencies, DCPL, and the community resulted in the opening of a $32 million, 63,000sf multi-purpose building adjacent to a new football field and playground.  The new library shares space with the District’s largest recreation center that includes a swimming pool with the District’s only slide, a recording studio, full service kitchen, and fitness center, and features recreational, education, and athletic programs for all ages.  Advanced sustainable design was incorporated into the facilities so that energy use is projected to be reduced by 40%.  The site also features a bio-retention garden and sand filtration tank to clean storm water that flows into the river.  Mature trees were protected during construction and incorporated as part of the site design.   This project demonstrates how multiple agencies can work together to stretch the boundaries of their vision to meet multiple community needs by creating a true community center.

All Hallows Guild of Washington National Cathedral

All Hallows Guild was founded in 1916 by Florence Bratenahl, the wife of the Dean of the Cathedral.  Its original purpose was to raise funds to pay for planting the Bishop’s Garden, which like most of the grounds of the Cathedral Close was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.  Today the Guild has come full circle as current efforts are focused on restoring the very popular Bishop’s Garden after several severe winters have damaged the mature plantings. The 59 acre Cathedral Close is one of the most important landmark properties in Washington, DC and its gardens and open spaces are popular tourist destinations.  The Guild’s efforts to preserve the beauty and function of the grounds has evolved over the years as they have come to the rescue of many prominent features  on the Close when these areas suffer decline due to overuse, extreme weather, erosion, and time.   Through the efforts of its members, the Guild enlists experts to address problems, develop restoration plans that are faithful to the Olmstead vision while utilizing the most advanced environmental techniques, and implement them with funds raised by the Guild. Recent restoration projects include the Olmsted Woods and the Amphitheater.

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Judy Scott Feldman

Judy Scott Feldman, Ph.D   During the past decade, Judy Scott, longtime Committee of 100 member and Founder /Chairman of the National Coalition to Save Our Mall, has had a profound influence on the care, maintenance and development of  the nation’s major national park.  Under of her leadership, the Coalition has developed critical plans for the continued implementation of the expert urban planning for the nation’s capital provided by the eminent Pierre L’Enfant and the extension of the National Mall as directed by the 1902 McMillan Congressional legislation .  Dr. Feldman has brought to the attention of the U.S. Congress, the D.C. Office of Planning, the D.C. Parks and Recreation Commission, National Capital Planning Commission, the Fine Arts Commission and the public in general, the fact that Washington, D.C. is not just the National Capital, but a thriving metropolis, whose citizens have the same economic and recreational needs as do other cities.   A key element of the Coalition’s strategy is to encourage the city to take ownership of its role as host to the National Mall and to join the Coalition’s mission to persuade the Congress to provide a conservation entity which will accomplish its greater potential.  That potential is for thoughtful expansion  in the interest of revenue generation and to provide a more welcome recreational asset for visitors from our city and those from around the nation.  For these reasons and many more Dr. Feldman richly deserves the Committee of 100’s Vision Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Elizabeth “Libby” Ulman Rowe

Libby Rowe exerted enormous influence on urban planning in Washington DC for three decades. She was appointed by President John Kennedy in 1961 as the first woman to chair the National Capital Planning Commission, which she headed until 1968. Her most far reaching legacy concerned the extent of the interstate highway system in the National Capital.  As chair of NCPC, she opposed original plans for the highways and supported Metro Rail station locations and construction.  The highway battle came to a head through numerous citizen demonstrations and a directive by President Johnson to NCPC to adopt a new comprehensive plan (“The Red Book”) accommodating transportation needs without an enlarged interstate system.   A strong advocate for maintaining the height limits of buildings in DC, Mrs. Rowe also established the District’s first official historic preservation efforts, via formation of the Joint Committee on Landmarks in 1964 by the NCPC, Commission of Fine Arts and DC Government.  Later, her leadership and tireless efforts as Chair of the Committee of 100 (1970 to 1986) strengthened the organization and greatly influenced citizens to participate in urban planning and other civic affairs.  Mrs. Rowe died in 1991, but the Nation’s Capital continues to benefit from her forethought, determination and urban planning policy influence.  And she is still loved and greatly missed by those who knew her.

Barbara Zartman Award for Planning and Zoning Advocacy

A Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed yearly at the Trustees’ discretion

Meg Maguire

Meg Maguire personifies intellectual talent, indefatigable energy, creative ideas, common sense, and deep values about public policy promoting the common good.  As the third president of Scenic America Ms. Maguire spearheaded a Scenic Conservation Action Agenda that saved more than 1,000 miles of scenic roads, including in the District of Columbia, from the blight of billboards and protected many of the aesthetic resources found in our nation’s communities and countryside.  On the local level, using her sharp organizational skills and her commitment to smart growth and environmental sustainability, Ms. Maguire helped the First Congregational Church transform a dream of a church sharing space with other urban uses into reality.  As project manager, Mr. Maguire guided a 6 year, church/office building design and construction process at 10th and G Streets, NW.

More recently, as a member of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, Ms. Maguire saw a need for expanding the committee’s involvement with District land use policy into the area of transportation policy. With Ms. Maguire as chair, the fledgling Transportation Committee pressed the city leadership for a more analytical, comprehensive, and forward thinking approach to developing a streetcar system.  Sensing where the information gaps were and that timing was critical, Ms. Maguire and other committee members produced a blueprint report on what was needed to ensure a well conceived streetcar system that would enhance the District’s transportation resources.  The Board of Trustees is proud to present Meg Maguire the second Barbara Zartman Award for her advocacy of urban policies that preserve the legacy of the District of Columbia and stimulate progress befitting the nation’s capital.


Selection Committee:  Sally Berk, Charles Cassell, Nancy MacWood, Loretta Neumann, and Lance Salonia, Chair


Previous Vision Award Winners