With over 25 million visitors a year, the National Mall is showing some wear and tear; its restoration is the driver of a competition to select a winning design team to renovate three areas of the Mall - Union Square, Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater, and Constitution Gardens - hosted by the National Park Service's non-profit partner the Trust for the National Mall.
Yesterday, the competition's details and important dates were released - in one month, registration ends, on October 8th, and design portfolios are due five days later, the 13th.
The three stages of the competition will stretch until March 30th, 2012. A public exhibition will take place in April, competition winners will be announced in early May, and fundraising efforts will commence thereafter.
The three stages of the competition are as follows:
Stage I - Design portfolios are submitted for review by a jury. The jury will select 8-10 designers (per location) to move on to Stage II.
Stage II - Designers will be combined into teams, which will be evaluated and interviewed by the jury. The jury will select 4-5 finalists per location to move on to Stage III.
Stage III - Finalists will create a design concept for their assigned location, and be allowed 10 weeks to complete the concept. The jury will select one concept per location as the winner.
The competition is part of the Trust's Campaign to Restore the National Mall, which will become the largest public-private partnership in the history of the National Park Service. Over the next several years, the campaign aims to raise $350 million in private funds, which will be matched by federal funds, bumping up the total to $700 million. Corporate sponsorship is providing the funds necessary to host the design competition.
The Campaign has already been working on several restoration projects on the Mall: the Jefferson Memorial Seawall (completion in the Fall), the Lincoln Memorial landscape and Reflecting Pool (completion in Spring 2012), and the WWI Veterans memorial.
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