Oppose Smithsonian Proposal to Destroy the Haupt Garden
CALL TO ACTION
The Smithsonian Institution seeks to demolish the Enid A. Haupt Garden and the other structures in the Quadrangle behind the Smithsonian’s Castle as part of a complex, multi-year Master Plan.
The Haupt Garden—along with the Ripley and Folger Gardens—is nestled between the Arts and Industries Building and the Freer Gallery of Art. This garden area includes such beloved features as the Haupt Victorian parterre, Renwick Gates (adapted from the 1849 design by Smithsonian Castle architect James Renwick), Moon Gate, Persian water features, and the remarkable pavilion entrances to the underground Sackler Gallery, the Museum of African Art, and the Ripley Visitors Center.
- The proposed master plan, while it includes the restoration of the Smithsonian Castle Building and the repair of the roof of the galleries under the Haupt Garden, calls for the destruction of the garden itself.
- Noted Washington architectural historian and author James M. Goode, in an Opinion piece published in The Washington Post on March 20, 2016, called the garden, gates, and pavilions “no less worthy of preservation for future generations than the Castle itself.” He describes the proposed replacement “a wasteland of skylights reminiscent of a regional shopping mall.”
The Smithsonian is currently conducting a series of public consultation meetings with a number of organizations and individuals who are deeply concerned about these proposals, including the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the DC Preservation League.
The Smithsonian Secretary publicly states that the Haupt Garden’s “final design is not part of the master plan currently under consideration.” However, the Smithsonian’s “preferred plan” for the demolition of the gardens, as posted on its website and as expressed to interested parties in consultation meetings is very much under consideration.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Express your opposition and/or concerns about this ill-conceived proposal to the Secretary of the Smithsonian and its key Regent:
Dr. David J. Skorton
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Mr. Robert P. Kogod
Regent of the Smithsonian Institution
Charles E. Smith Co.
2345 Crystal Drive – Suite 1101
Arlington, VA 22202
Express your concern about any potential use of Federal taxpayer dollars to Congress to:
Congressman Ken Calvert
U.S. House of Representatives
2205 Rayburn Building.
Washington, DC 20515
Calvert (R-CA-42) sits on the Committee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies which oversees the Smithsonian and appropriates 2/3rds of its annual operating budget.
Sign the Online Petition
Sign the online ipetition urging the Institution’s Secretary to re-consider the South Mall Campus Plan so that the Haupt Garden and surrounding architectural and landscape features are retained.
Copies of Committee of 100 on the Federal City’s letters and comments regarding the Plan may be viewed here.
Founded in 1923, The Committee of 100 on the Federal City is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding and advancing Washington’s historic distinction, natural beauty, and overall livability.