One Sunday we walked to the Mall. Arriving at the intersection of 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, we noticed how 14th and 15th streets cut the Mall off from the monument. An idea came to us: Why not extend the Mall over the two streets so people could walk to the monument without having to cross traffic?
This competition raises some of the most difficult questions about public space in American society. Working on the sketches, we recalled being part of the enormous crowds that gathered under the monument for President Obama’s inauguration. We realized that our proposal would not only create a great viewing platform for important historic events but had emerged from deeply embedded cultural practices related to city founding.