Since 1987, the Enid A. Haupt Garden has been a fixture in the Smithsonian gardens with geometric designs of plants and flowers in approximately four acres of land. One day, the garden may disappear, thanks to the Smithsonian's $2 billion master plan. The plan, designed by architect Bjarke Ingels, involves demolishing the garden as well as the existing entrance pavilions to the National Museum of African Art, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and S. Dillon Ripley International Center.
On April 5, a petition launched to stop or at least modify these plans to ensure that the garden is maintained. In a matter of two days, 500 signatures were gathered.
An Arlington resident and signer of the petition, named Marianne Rankin, wrote, "Surely there must be another way to implement the master plan (or modify it)." Another individual who signed the petition, named Larry Slagle, described the plans as a "travesty in the making," a "perversion of real needs," as well as "unneeded [and] unwanted."
This past March, Best Addresses author and former curator for the Smithsonian Institution James M. Goode wrote an editorial for The Washington Post, arguing for the garden to be maintained rather than destroyed. He described the Enid A. Haupt Garden as "one of the few peaceful and contemplative places on the Mall," adding, "The Smithsonian should have more respect for its Castle and the institution’s own history."
What do you think? Do you agree, or do you think the Smithsonian's plans for the Enid A. Haupt Garden are simply underappreciated or misunderstood?
Let Curbed know in the comments.
• Save the Smithsonian's Enid Haupt Garden! [iPetitions]
• Don’t destroy the Smithsonian’s beloved Haupt Garden [The Washington Post]
• What to Expect from Smithsonian's $2B Master Plan [Curbed DC]