La Verne design team semifinalist in national competition
Matthew Witt, associate professor of Public Administration at the University of La Verne, is leading a design team among one of 24 semifinalists being considered by the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds.
Organized in spring 2010, the competition is led by an independent steering committee of university professors, architects and designers, and civic leaders in partnership with The George Washington University. It calls for ideas about how to complete the Washington Monument, the center piece of the United States Capitol Mall, which has never been finished despite scores of design proposals over the last 150 years.
The competition drew more than 500 submissions from around the United States as well as a few international entries. Only five of the two dozen semifinalists will be selected as finalists.
Witt has extensive background on the design, background, and influences involved with the Capitol Mall. His article in the September/October 2005 issue of Public Administration Review, “America’s Palimpsest: Ground-Zero Democracy and the Capitol Mall,” examined the mall’s history and its emergent qualities and offered planning criteria that would allow for future commemorative works while retaining the overall integrity of its grandeur.
In preparing the initial competition entry, Witt worked closely with his father, Marvin Witt, architect, to develop a design that was submitted for the first round review in December, 2010. Now La Verne faculty from the Art Department are joining this effort, bringing student involvement and creative talents to complete the next phase of submission, due June 2, 2011.
He believes this expanded entry stands a very good chance of being one of the five national finalists.
“La Verne has taught me a great deal about what America means to the people without all the power and all the media to make their voices heard,” Witt said. “The Capitol Mall is the place to bring these voices together.”