*The architectural relationships are subtle but critical. The monumental Doric portico, facing north on the Old Patent Office, is 100 feet wide. Similarly, the central block of the old Carnegie Library is 100 feet wide. The right of way of Eighth Street is 100 feet wide. The unobstructed view between these magnificent, complementary white marble structures has been preserved for almost a century, and the vista so carefully created must not be casually demeaned.

-- Charles C. Eldredge, director of the National Museum of American Art, in testimony in 1984 before the D.C. Zoning Commission.

*Over the last dozen years, the District government and the watchguards of the federal interest have created a form of due procting interest of property owners, preservationists, pedestrians, drivers, taxpayers and visitors. It is not a perfect process, but it has matured into a workable one. The District needs help from all available hands to promote its budding image as a good place to do business. It does not need the federal government to impose elements of risk that will stifle investment and scare away jobs.

-- Peter P. Rucci is president of the Washington, D.C., Association of Realtors Inc.

*Surely private development can take place on these two blocks without closing Eighth Street and bridging it over. Development has steadily occurred elsewhere in the old downtown over the past years -- as in fact it continues at this very moment -- without such extreme concessions. Major and historic street closings to attract or please developers can set a very dangerous precedent.

-- Jerry A. Moore, D.C. Council member, in a letter in 1984 to S. Dillon Ripley, then secretary of the Smithsonian.

*Under home rule, the city has grown dramatically: the Convention Center, attracting over a million visitors a year, 9.2 million square feet in downtown development along with thousands of jobs, tens of millions of tax revenues to the city. With a track record like that, it's pretty scary when a few people can throw a monkey wrench into the machinery. Makes you wonder whether Techworld is the issue, or do a few people have a problem with home rule?

-- Foster Shannon is president and chief executive officer of Shannon & Luchs Co.