Benjamin Forgey notes {Style, June 16} that the nations's capital has more per-capita parkland than London or Tokyo, but it surely must have more monuments than any city in the world. Enough is enough! Washington has about as much need for memorials to FDR and the Korean War -- to say nothing of a grandiose Peace Garden -- as it has for more lawyers or (God forbid) politicians.

Most days I jog in East Potomac Park and out to Hains Point, where these monstrosities are planned. I watch young men and women playing softball and families picnicking there, the races mixing happily together, and I marvel that so much natural land still exists at the core of a great metropolis.

What would take its place? As Mr. Forgey describes it, the FDR monument sounds better suited to a Roman emperor. Korean vets should also remember that London commemorates all of Britain's war dead with a single, graceful column -- the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Worse, I feel, are the elaborate plans for Hains Point because inner-city blacks traditionally have used it as breathing space away from the humid heat of Washington summers. Is this truly peaceful scene to be sacrificed for an artificial "peace" project?

Congress should kill these pompous absurdities and leave the parks where they belong -- with the people.



I wish to congratulate Benjamin Forgey for his excellent article titled ''Washington's Monumental Excess.'' The analysis of the results of siting megamonuments around our city and giving up the grassy areas where people of all ages and colors stroll, fish and play is right on the mark. Our city is one of the most beautiful in the world, and the open spaces make it so at least as much as the buildings themselves.

The Peace Garden project for Hains Points is a case in point. This 12-acre formal glass and garden project apparently was designed by someone unfamiliar with the locale. The idea of having an open auditorium halfway between National Airport and Bolling Field is ridiculous. Whether the gardens would survive periodic flooding of the area is questionable. ''The Awakening,'' an outstanding statue that has graced the site since 1980, to the delight of countless children and visitors from around the country and the world, is most happy to be flooded occasionally. The proposed row of trees would create another cramped island.

The designs of both the Roosevelt memorial and the Peace Garden project illustrate the tendency of landscape architects to ignore practical mundane problems. Already parking to permit access to the Lincoln Memorial is most difficult -- the construction of the Roosevelt Memorial would create monumental traffic jams and parking problems around the Tidal Basin.

I hope Congress will be more cautious in approving memorials in the capital city.