Seeing It Through
Lawmaker Urges Architect Not to ‘Cut Corners’ on Materials for Massive CVC Project
Architect of the Capitol Alan Hantman (right) and Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) watched last week as giant backhoes loaded dump trucks at a rate of one a minute — a pace that allows about a 100 trucks to make five trips a day to and from the East Front. (The soil is carted off to various locations and has been used for construction at the new Washington Convention Center and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.)
But even though the excavation for the 580,000-square-foot Capitol Visitor Center will continue for another two months, Mica is already looking ahead to the finishes on the subterranean center. He met with Hantman to express his hope that the highest quality materials be used.
“There are some people who may try to cut corners. That would be a national tragedy. If Abraham Lincoln can finish the Dome during the Civil War,” Mica said, Congress can make sure the last large-scale addition to the Capitol is of the highest quality even during a time of deficits.
Hantman replied that using materials comparable to the existing building is a priority, adding that he’s already visited two sandstone quarries with similar mineral deposits as the stone used to build the walls in the Rotunda and elsewhere.
“Our basic concern is that it gives you the same continuity,” the Architect said.
— Suzanne Nelson