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Fine Arts Library Hosts The Exhibition "Extending The Legacy: Planning America’s Capital For The 21st Century"

February 14, 2000 -- The Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library at the University of Virginia is displaying the exhibition, "Extending the Legacy: Planning America’s Capital for the 21st Century," on long-term loan from the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) in Washington, D.C.

In "Extending the Legacy," the NCPC presents its ideas for the future look and functions of the capital, including the Mall and surrounding areas, 50 to 100 years from now. The exhibition displays these plans in magnificent detail mounted on birch veneer panels and hung around the circular third-level mezzanine floor of the Fine Arts Library. The exhibit also includes past visions of the capital, including the first plans of the city commissioned by George Washington and done by Pierre Charles L’Enfant in 1791 and the McMillan Commission plans of 1901. Together, these two plans outline the Washington, D.C. of today.

The NCPC plan builds upon the ideas of both the L’Enfant and McMillan plans and addresses the concerns of a growing city. With over 20 million tourists visiting the capital each year, a number expected to double over the next 50 years, the risk of over-crowding and over-use remains high. The "Extending the Legacy" plan moves beyond the Mall and memorials to the areas, waterfronts, and neighborhoods outside the Mall in the hope of making the capital an open, accessible, and attractive place in which to live and travel. Included in the plans of the NCPC are revitalized waterfronts along the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, new memorial sites, open and public spaces, and new transportation options such as the removal of inefficient roadways and bridges that dissect the city, the use of water taxis, expanded rail service, and longer and more frequent Metrorail trains. These proposals are all aimed at opening up the city and lessening automobile traffic.

"I wanted to bring this exhibit to U.Va. not only because of its architectural and urban planning significance, but also because of its significance to us all as a plan for our national capital," said Jack Robertson, director of the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library. Robertson contacted the NCPC and secured the loan of the exhibit for five years.

The exhibit as originally shown in Washington, D.C. at the National Building Museum (May-September 1998) included five video players that played specially produced video documents. Copies of these videos are available for viewing or check-out in the Fine Arts Library.

The exhibition is free and open to the public and may be viewed during the library’s operating hours of 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and noon to midnight on Sunday. For more information about "Extending the Legacy," visit the NCPC web site at: Funding to bring the exhibit to U.Va. was provided in part by Sarah F. Dupont and by the U.Va. School of Architecture. For more information about the exhibition, contact Heather Burns of the Fine Arts Library at (804) 924-6607 or

Editors: For electronic or printed photos of the exhibit to illustrate this story, contact Melissa Norris at (804) 924-4254 or

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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