In the cacophony of noises caused by cars, buses and trucks on the block of 14th Street between F and G streets NW, a fence was unveiled yesterday as a crew from France played tunes on French hunting horns.
A fence? Yes. But one that contains an artwork, interesting for a couple of reasons, which we'll get to toward the end of this item.
The 88-foot fence is opposite Garfinckel's and stretches from the north side of the Westory Building, on the northeast corner of 14th and F streets NW, to the south edge of the National Bank of Washington at 14th and G. It encloses the site of a 12-story building that will wrap around the Westory, with fronts on both 14th and F streets.
"In place of the typical barricade around a construction site, we thought that adding a work of art on the fence by a local painter would properly set the stage for our company's first major D.C. project," said Theodore Georgelas, president of Georgelas & Sons Inc., which is erecting the building in a venture with the Milton Co.
Luther H. Hodges Jr., chairman of the National Bank of Washington, told the knot of spectators that the bank will lease substantial space in the new building to expand its headquarters and keep it downtown -- itself worth praise.
The fence painting was done by Washington artist G. Byron Peck. It shows, in one section, flying geese, and in another section, a man walking down a corridor carrying a briefcase.
And the man in the painting is the absolute spitting image of Washington Post investigative reporter Patrick E. Tyler, whose coverage about loan practices at the National Bank of Washington a few years back preceded the decision by federal authorities to force out the bank's old management and bring in a new one, headed by Hodges.
Hodges, told of this, was startled but had no comment. Artist Peck, asked who was the model for the painting, said it was he himself. Metro Scene looked at Peck and decided, that Peck, however unwittingly, had done a better likeness of Pat Tyler.