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Are there any questions on my left?
As you know, the basic legislation on the study only required the Department to report the preliminary sketches and preliminary drawings. I think you certainly have gone far beyond what we had expected, and we congratulate you for it.
Mr. AUERBACH. Thank you.
Secretary UDALL. Mr. Chairman, I am sure the members of the committee, after seeing the visual presentation here, have a much clearer idea of what the potential is, what a very fine facility this would be, what type of service we can provide for the people who come to this city. And I think the other real service that the Commission rendered, and particularly the subcommittee that the chairman chaired, was to show that if we did it as proposed, it would not be an enormously expensive public works project; that we can, through the type of arrangement that we hope can be worked out—and apparently can be worked out with the railroads—do this and do it right, and yet have the cost be modest, and that is the note I wanted to conclude my statement on.
Mr. Gray. As usual, Mr. Secretary, you have outdone yourself; you have gone far beyond what I am sure all of us expected, and we again want to commend you and your subordinates, particularly Sutton Jett and his associates, in the National Park Service, and the consultants that you hired to assist you on what I might say was a very meager budget. Congress only allowed a paltry $10,000 to do all that you have seen presented here, which is a little bit ridiculous when you see the millions of dollars we spend on what I consider to be much less worthy causes. I think we have to salute the Secretary for doing this kind of job on the budget of $10,000, which is even a little ridiculous to have mentioned.
Secretary UDALL. We should thank the designers who have worked on it, because I suspect they have some time invested in this and we really owe them some special thanks.
Mr. GRAY. I agree with you.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Yes. First I want to comment and echo what the chairman has already said and say in addition that I am glad to see you again, Mr. Secretary.
You recall when we first met, it was in the 84th Congressional Club. It is wonderful to see you, a member of our club, in such a responsible commission.
Secretary UDALL. We have other members of that club here today, too.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Right.
Mr. GRAY. If the gentleman will yield, I would say that is where the Secretary got his good training.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. So we of the 84th Club feel in some way we reflect in your glory and accomplishments. I want to commend you highly for them.
Secretary UDALL. I am glad, if I may say so, to see my colleagues of the 84th Club gravitating to positions of power and seniority in the Congress.
Mr. Gray. Well, thank you again, Mr. Secretary, and all of you.
On the matter of the rental, had you given thought or do you consider it advisable maybe to have an option to buy under certain circumstances? Is that envisioned?
Secretary UDALL. This is proposed in an amendment which we have suggested, that that option should also be available to the Federal Government if at some future time this is in the public interest and we can work out an agreement that would
be satisfactory to the Congress. Mr. Gray. In that connection, Mr. Secretary, I would like to make the record very clear; as you know, as I mentioned earlier, we do have serious budgetary problems from several quarters. It would not be your intention now certainly for us to go to the floor and ask for a lease arrangement with any view in mind in the very foreseeable future of actually using taxpayers' funds to purchase this facility? This is not your intent, to recommend we give you this authority?
This is not an attempt to get lease authority with the intention to buy?
Secretary UDALL. I think we should say for the record, make this very clear, this first phase that we envision with the presentation we made here today, that we think the lease arrangement is a very good arrangement and probably if the Government wants to consider outright purchase at all, this would be 10, 15, or 20 years away.
Mr. GRAY. I want to make that clear. I do not want someone on the floor saying, “Really you say lease here, but I am sure you intend to spend $25 or $50 million of taxpayers' money.” This is not envisioned at all ?
Secretary UDALL. This is not envisioned in the whole first phase. Mr. Gray. Fine. Thank you very much.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. One other question, Mr. Secretary. I want to comment first, I am happy that the Interior Department's people like you are in charge, more or less supervising and managing this operation.
In that connection, I would like to say, in addition, what the Interior Department and the Park Service have done, especially through Mission 66, has been a tremendous contribution to better understanding of our heritage. I do not know any better way to reveal this than through the park areas and recreation areas; they are part of the Government system.
It is having its influence in the States. They are following the same pattern. Right now Iowa is developing a project and studying something the Federal Government has done in Park Service. This is fine.
Now, on to a question: My experience indicates Members of the Congress have a tremendous interest far beyond anything I could imagine in the history of the heritage of our country, and I am wondering if you would have any objection to having a continuing committee from the Congress to work as sort of a board of consultants or advisers, so they cannot only help you in this way, but reflect the interest and experience of the Congressmen as it relates to the problems of the visitor? Would you have any objection to having that written in?
Secretary UDALL. I not only would have no objection, I would think this would be very useful to have a regular—I would say relatively small, do not get it too large so it is unwieldy, but oversight committee that would be Members of Congress who would particularly keep in touch with developments and would be constantly advising with us and making suggestions, and would be sort of the interpreters to the Congress of what we are doing. I think this might be very helpful.
Mr. GRAY. That is a very good suggestion.
Mr. GRAY. Again, Mr. Secretary, let us thank you tremendously for your wonderful work in this connection.
I might say, as you leave, that of the hundreds and hundreds of letters and witnesses that have appeared during these hearings, we have not had one single person appear or submit a statement in opposition to the Commission's recommendation, which I think is a great salute to the Commission.
Secretary UDALL. Fine. Thank you.
The next witness will be Mr. William J. Powell, executive vice president and general counsel of the American Foundation for World Trade Studies, the U.S. Visitor Center Founding Corp., Washington, D.C.
Mr. Powell will be accompanied by Mr. Cameron Hartwell Pulley, chairman of the boards of directors of the American Foundation for World Trade Studies, Inc., and the U.S. Visitor Center Founding Corp.; Mr. John B. Funk, engineer and former director of the Maryland Roads Commission; Dr. Alvin C. Loewer and Mr. Warren Sargent, of the architect-engineering firm, Loewer, Sargent & Associates, of Kensington and Baltimore, Md.; and Mr. William J. Muth, director of public relations.
Will you just please come forward.
We appreciate your patience in waiting and certainly thank you very much for coming.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM J. POWELL, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESI
DENT AND GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE U.S. VISITOR CENTER FOUNDING CORP. AND THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR WORLD TRADE STUDIES, INC., ACCOMPANIED BY CAMERON HARTWELL PULLEY, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS OF DIRECTORS; DR. ALVIN C. LOEWER AND WARREN SARGENT, ARCHITECTS; JOHN B. FUNK, ENGINEER; AND WILLIAM J. MUTH, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Mr. POWELL. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am pleased to appear before your subcommittee today to discuss H.R. 12603, a bill to supplement the purposes of the Public Buildings Act of 1959, by authorizing agreements and leases with respect to certain properties in the District of Columbia, for the purpose of a National Visitor Center, and for other purposes.
I have with me today Mr. Cameron Hartwell Pulley, chairman of the boards of directors of the American Foundation for World Trade Studies, Inc., and the U.S. Visitor Center Founding Corp.
I also have with me Dr. Alvin C. Loewer and Mr. Warren Sargentthis is Dr. Loewer and this Mr. Sargent
Mr. Gray. The gentlemen may have seats here if you care to. We may have questions. If you would like, you may siť up here at the table.
Mr. POWELL (continuing). Who are members of the architect-engineering firm, Loewer, Sargent & Associates of Kensington and Baltimore, Md.
With us also is Mr. William J. Muth, who has been very helpful to us in public relation matters, and Mr. John B. Funk, engineer, who was formerly the director of the Maryland Roads Commission. Mr. Funk will become vice president and administrative engineer of the U.S. Visitor Center Founding Corp., in which capacity he will have complete supervision and direction of all engineering and construction of the building complex which we propose as an addition to the National Visitor Center as conceived by Chairman Gray and expressed in his bill H.R. 12603.
I would like to say a word about Mr. Funk's background. He has accumulated some 30 years' experience in private and governmental engineering projects since graduating Phi Beta Kappa in civil engineering from Washington and Lee University. He has developed subway systems while working with the American Bridge Co., and then working with the H. K. Ferguson Co., of Cleveland. For 10 years he was a consulting engineer for a number of small cities until he became chief engineer of the State of Maryland, to supervise the designing and building of 90 public buildings, including schools, hospitals, sanitoriums, stadiums, and other functional buildings.
For 8 years he was director of public works for rapidly expanding Baltimore County, and for 8 years he was chairman-director of the Maryland State Roads Commission directing the building of $800 million of roads and freeways, including the Baltimore and Capital Beltways.
I might also say that Mr. Funk was one of the originators of the whole concept of freeway systems with interchanges, and so forth, and in fact design the first interchange in the east here.
Besides, he has served on or headed a number of important boards and commissions, including the Maryland State Planning Commission, Baltimore Regional Planning Commission, Greater Washington Transportation Board, a Joint Committee on Urban Transportation and chairman on the Committee on Organization and Administration of the Highway Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences.
Mr. Funk would approach this job under his original idea of an urban concept team, where he would have the experience and knowledge of all professionals—engineers, architects, and even psychologists—pooled together in order to make a freeway system, an urban community, or whatever project he might be working on-in this case an addition to the Visitor Center-more perfect.
Messrs. Funk, Loewer, and Sargent are available to answer technical questions from members of the committee.
Concrete solutions to such problems as how to adequately provide for the huge numbers of visitors pouring into the Nation's Capital today and how to adequately provide for the staggering geometric
increases of these visitors as each year passes, are solutions which are difficult to come by on a “nuts-and-bolts” basis.
The factors and interests involved are so diverse, complex, and multitudinous that great intelligence, imagination, perseverance, and compromise ability are required in order to finally formulate a practical and concrete solution which will satisfy all interests and at the same time provide for these large numbers of visitors not only the basic necessities and comforts but a truly memorable and meaningful visit to one of the world's greatest centers of government—their own.
In Chairman Kenneth Gray, these required characteristics abound, and the manner in which he has pursued a practical solution to the problem can only be admired and lauded.
He is faced with a problem of present urgency, a truly adequate solution to which would cost a huge sum of money, at a time when the costs of our Government are already astronomical. Yet he has been able to formulate, activate, and continue to forge a practical plan whereby the costs to our Government will be truly nominal, yet the result of which will be an admirable and concrete first step toward coping in a meaningful way with the rapidly increasing numbers of visitors.
It is our opinion that the proper site has been chosen for the Center with its already existing monumental structure designed as the “Gateway to the Capital" after the triumphal arches of Rome.
T'he American Foundation for World Trade Studies, Inc., comes here today with its subsidiary, the U.S. Visitors Center Founding Corp., to offer a plan which will supplement and complement the fine work of Chairman Gray, the chairman of the subcommittee, and the study commission as we have seen already outlined in the previous testimony.
The American Foundation for World Trade Studies, whose name is perhaps misleading in that its members quickly discovered at the outset, some 9 years ago, that to study trade is to study in depth the social, economic, and political institutions of geographical areas, and more important is to study ways and means of improving and developing educational systems, and having become intrigued with the possibilities attendant upon the idea of a National Visitor Center, began a year and a half ago to work out a comprehensive plan where it could make a significant contribution to such a center and at the same time implement its plans of long standing for the creation of an Electronic Education and Information Center.
To carry out the administration of the activities designed to aid in the building of supplemental Visitor Center facilities for the use of the Federal Government, we formed a second nonprofit corporation, the U.S. Visitor Center Founding Corp,
With completely private capital, and without one penny of congressionally appropriated money, the founding corporation would build an additional 7,000 parking spaces adjacent to and immediately behind the 3,000 to 4,000 parking spaces proposed to be built by the Washington Terminal Co., and beyond that the founding corporation would build a large building extending to L Street over the railroad tracks and on the vacant corner of L and First Streets.
The first floor of this large building would join the planned “esplanade,” be reached therefrom by a number of escalators, and consists