Mayor Marion Barry told Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke in a meeting this week that a new stadium could be built at Langston Golf Course in Northeast Washington near the present Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, it was learned.

Cooke, who is seeking a new 75,000-seat facility for his team, said yesterday that a facility with a retractable roof and a natural grass surface would be more desirable than the domed arena he proposed earlier this summer. RFK Stadium has 55,000 seats for football, which Cooke has said is too small.

"There are three alternatives for us to look at," Cooke said. "One is an open-air stadium, which would allow us to have a grass field but no chance at ever hosting a Super Bowl.

"Two is a dome, which I don't like because you have to play on artificial turf, and you can't enjoy the sunshine.

"Three is the retractable {sliding} roof, which is what I'm aiming for," Cooke said. "It allows you to hold events in all kinds of weather but still play on natural grass and enjoy the sun."

No such facility exists in professional sports, although a 56,000-seat arena is under construction in Toronto at a cost of $240 million in Canadian money. Called The Dome, it will be completed in 1989. It is being financed in partnership between the provincial and metropolitan governments, with significant private funding.

"It can be done," Cooke said of the retractable roof. He suggested that the new facility in Toronto not be considered a model, probably because the primary tenant will be a baseball team (the Blue Jays), a moderate capacity and the high cost of construction.

John White, a spokesman for Barry, said, "Langston is considered a possible site." White added that another undisclosed site was mentioned at the meeting but ruled out because of inadequate space.

There is no Metro station at Langston, although one was once planned for the nearby RFK Stadium north parking lot but eliminated from the system because of neighborhood opposition. Metro tracks there are elevated, and it would a relatively simple but expensive matter to add a station.

Cooke said this summer that RFK Stadium, built for baseball and football, was no longer acceptable because of its seating capacity and because it was not as modern as some other stadiums around the country.

The Redskins' lease at RFK expires in 1990.

Cooke said that, while he hoped he could get a new facility in the District, he also would listen to representatives of suburban communities.

Cooke, whose team has sold out 159 consecutive games since 1966, said he has "lost money" for years on the Redskins and would need a 75,000-seat stadium to break even.

In recent similar situations -- at the Meadowlands, Pontiac, Mich., Minneapolis and now Irwindale, Calif. -- the communities involved have financed new structures. Cooke said he expected similar treatment here.

Barry said Tuesday the city would retain a consulting firm to examine Cooke's proposal in hopes of making sure the Redskins, who have played in the District for 51 years, do not move to the suburbs.

White declined to comment on Cooke's retractable roof plan. "The mayor wants to see what the consultants come back with. Then we'll start looking at retractable roofs," White said.

Langston Golf Course is just north of the RFK Stadium parking lots and lies along the Anacostia River north of Benning Road NE. The course was built in 1934 for blacks, who were not permitted to play on the other courses in the then-segregated city.

The 18-hole course and land is owned by the National Park Service and leased to a private contractor. There have been several operators of the facility in the past 10 years, including PGA star Lee Elder, whose management firm ran the course from 1978 to 1981. About 20,000 golfers a year use the course, according to a Park Service source.