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way, as I explained earlier, around the plaza, up the ramp on this side of the building, which is the east side
Mr. GRAY. This would be a four-lane ramp?
Mr. AUERBACH. This is a four-lane ramp that divides into three that services the railroad station and three that receive parking instructions.
Mr. GRAY. One way in each direction?
Mr. AUERBACH. Coming up the ramp—if you were going by taxi or by private automobile to the railroad station, you would peel off at this point [indicating]. The tour buses would peel off at the next side turn, double-height section of the parking structure that will accommodate them. And then the private automobile would proceed up the ramp. Three other decks would service private cars. .
[Slide.] Once up on deck, it becomes this rather massive parking area, which is typical of fourth- and third-floor parking. It handles 1,148 cars per level. Visitors would have to find their way to an escalator system at the center, which takes them down, eventually to the first level of parking, which has 690 cars and 116 buses. At that point there is a more spacious area left where visitors can collect there, before descending down the escalator past the railroad station level to the esplanade.
[Slide.) Now, this is somehow out of sequence, but this is a view of the railroad shed that would be created by raising the garage to a 45-foot level. This level here [indicating] is the ticketing area. You can see the expansion the more gracious aspect of the railroad station can achieve.
Mr. GRAY. The visitor at that point would not have to go through the train station; he would be able to go from the parking level directly down into the esplanade, and then into the tourist center!
Mr. AUERBACH. That is right. If I could back off again—[slide]— these escalators coming from the visitors parking area bypass the railroad station.
Mr. GRAY. This is the point.
Mr. AUERBACH. There is another escalator or stair which can take the person from the railroad station down to the esplanade.
Mr. GRAY. You would also have 1 or 2 escalators.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. This bus area, where the buses go, the ceiling will necessarily have to be higher than where the cars go; is that not true?
Mr. AUERBACH. Yes, sir.
Mr. SCHWÉNGEL. Because of some figures that I have seen on the future bus traffic to this area, I think maybe it might be well for you to consider putting those buses on top so that you will have an expanding facility and you can reduce your total height maybe, and so you can make room for as many as you may need, for all the buses coming.
Mr. AUERBACH. That is certainly worth considering.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. I would suggest your rethinking this question on where vou park the buses.
Mr. AUERBACH. Yes, sir.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Also I think it would be easier to control the traffic with the groups and direct them from buses. They will be under a
supervisor and it would be accommodating people to come in a tourist car and have them in a favored position, rather than the people coming by bus, and without penalizing people who come by bus, too.
Mr. AUERBACH. I would like to point out in regard to buses, Congressman Schwengel, the 116 buses generate over 4,000 people, whereas the 3,000 cars generate between 6,000 and 9,000. The proportion of visitors that the bus deals with per square footage is quite a bit larger.
Mr. GRAY. Particularly as the trend is now for the double-decker, the larger buses.
Mr. WRIGHT. These 116 buses-
Mr. WRIGHT (continuing). Will these be buses originating from various places, or will they be buses coming from out of town to bring those people here, or will they be essentially buses for the purpose
of taking a visitor on a somewhat circular tour around the city?
Mr. AUERBACH. No, sir. This is bus parking for out-of-town excursion buses.
Mr. WRIGHT. Excursion buses? I see.
Mr. WRIGHT. I understand. These are charter buses, people having charters to come to Washington ?
Mr. AUERBACH. That is right.
Now, where will the buses be boarded that are planned for the purpose of taking people on a route that will permit their dropping off at certain key points of interest, scenic tourist interest?
Mr. AUERBACH. Those buses are out in front of the building. After the visitor comes from his parking point through the building and the facilities
Mr. WRIGHT. But what you contemplate here for 116 buses is simply space for out-of-town buses that have come to Washington?
Mr. AUERBACH. That is right.
[Slide.] Here is a closer view of the model showing the esplanade and the escalators in which the visitor, having parked, will come off the parking area. That is a 44-foot-high elevator in this design and it is rather a key part of the orientation program in that for that period of travel on the escalator, the visitor is in a sense trapped. He cannot get off and he can be introduced, through radio, recording devices and graphic devices, as to what will be found in this building that will help him make his visit more pleasant, rather than causing him to go to a directory that might or might not be read. So this is a key link in the movement of the visitor into the city of Washington.
[Slide.] This is just simply another view of the esplanade, but with the garage having been removed to show the relationship of the escalator to the railroad platform, the railroad facilities.
[Slide.] Once down the escalator, the visitor lands in the esplanade under a vast cover, which is open to the weather but protected from precipitation, and he is proceeding at this time into the building through the concourse.
The concourse is a long, rather grand space that we felt should not have too much architectural junk put in it.
[Slide.] What we put in there is in keeping with the space as it is. Yet we should advertise what is in the concourse for the visitors' facilities. So we decided to put first a cyclorama under which the
visitor would walk in this general path [indicating], but he need not stop if he wishes to continue on and is disinterested in it. That cyclorama will probably show film of maybe 5 minutes' duration with constant cycling showing the visitor around Washington to the site of his interest, and also pointing out to him that there are other film orientations available in two pair of theaters to either side of the cyclorama in which would be historical films or films of various orientations, either on alternating starting times, to accommodate group capacities, or four different films.
Mr. GRAY. This area is to be on the concourse as we know it now, where we actually board the train ?
Mr. AUERBACH. This is right. This is where the railroad gates presently stand (indicating).
Mr. Gray. Right.
Mr. AUERBACH. [Slide.] This is a view of the cyclorama. Again it is enclosed in green glass, so the film that is being shown on the inside can be faintly visible from the outside, advertising itself, and also giving a lightness to the structure we put in there.
Mr. WRIGHT. When you get in this area, the area where presently you board the train, you leave the building and go out on the track?
Mr. AUERBACH. That is correct. Where these piles stand is the point presently at which you leave the cover of the building and go out onto the platform.
Mr. WRIGHT. The platforms are back this way [indicating]?
Mr. WRIGHT. And it is in that area that the new station will be built, is that right? Parking garage?
Mr. AUERBACH. Sir, they are 90 feet over. In other words, from this line [indicating] over to a point 90 feet away is simply a garden giving air and light to the space between the parking structure, under which is the railroad station, and the new Visitor Center.
Mr. WRIGHT. I understand it. Thank you.
Mr. AUERBACH. On either side of this will be two pair of movie theaters, represented here, and shown as we conceive of them being transparent or gray glass, acoustically treated. But when you are walking on the outside, you can see some activity on the screen and be enticed to go in.
Mr. GRAY. While we are on that, there are two reasons for thinking of the glass in both theories, is that not correct? No. 1, it would be much cheaper just to enclose the theater with glass rather than have very high ceiling partitions? Second, to be able to keep this beautiful architecture that is now in this concourse area. Is this not the main reason for not altering or chopping up like partitions the exising concourse area?
Mr. AUERBACH. Yes, sir. With the other third, when the visitor comes into the concourse, he will see five screens at work and it becomes, you know, a vigorous cinemagraphic activity.
Mr. Gray. It would be much more economical than trying to put partitions in and change this large high ceiling area!
Mr. AUERBACH. Yes, sir. We feel there should be as minimal architecture in this building as possible. The grand old building would stand on itself. We have to enclose a theater, obviously, and this is the most minimum way it could be done.
Mr. Gray. I just wanted to point it out to my colleagues, because some of these have not seen the graphs before.
The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Wright.
Mr. Wright. I like this plan. What problems do you encounter, however, with respect to acoustics, the tone of the audio portion in connection with the theater?
Mr. AUERBACH. I have to admit that we have not gone through elaborate studies. In this rather preliminary conceptual stage, we have not gone through elaborate laboratory tests. Mr. WRIGHT. You do not think it is going to pose any big problem?
Mr. AUERBACH. No. What we thought we would use is really “Twinmill," a thermal insulating glass made of two sheets of glass, each light gray, which makes it even that much more opaque and better visually, and I think that would be enough to take care of the acoustics.
Up in the ceiling here you can see a very lightweight, what we call space frame, in which will be inserted acoustic panels that would also aid in muffling the sound.
Mr. WRIGHT. Very good. It just occurred to me high ceilings might conceivably create some acoustical freak situations; you might be standing over here and hearing the audio portion back yonder.
Mr. AUERBACH. The ceiling in this particular concourse is notorious for that. As a matter of fact, it is against the law to have a brass band or any loud noise in there now.
Mr. WRIGHT. But you think we can control this and keep it down? Mr. AUERBACH. Yes, sir.
Mr. Gray. You do not envision the ceiling for the theaters being anywhere near as high as the ceiling for the concourse, do you?
Mr. AUERBACH. No, sir. There would be a subceiling to take care of acoustics.
Mr. GRAY. That is the point I wanted to make.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. On the matter of auditoriums, I am glad to note you have at least four auditoriums. Can you now tell us what the size of those auditoriums will be ? Accommodating how many people?
Mr. AUERBACH. They each seat 500, sir, so that would take 2,000 people at a seating.
We had at one point considered one of them being 750 seats. We made a decision on our own, essentially, to reduce them all to 500.
Mr. GRAY. With a 15-minute film, 8,000 people an hour, 8 hours a day
Secretary UDALL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to point out one thing, too, to members of the committee, that we can do in a very exciting way with these theaters. We will want to produce some films; we will want to do this in a very creative way. For example, we might have one film, let's say 15 minutes, that would be on the Capitol. It would show where the Congressmen's offices are located, what is in the Capitol, what they can see on the tour, and could explain in a very fine educational way not only where facilities are located, but the historical aspects.
In fact, you could have several different films explaining different things, and depending upon what a person was going to see that particular day, they could shop around and see film. And I think if we do our job right, and if you will give us a little money to do it at the
right time, we can come up with some films that will be absolutely first rate and will tell a real story and help educate the visitor, again sort of to make it easy for him to see the Capitol, for him to understand what he is going to see, for him to know where he wants to go, and make the experience much richer than it is.
With so many people today, they arrive, they do not know where they are going, they do not know what they are seeing, and they wander around, really lost most of the time.
Mr. GRAY. That is a very good point, Mr. Secretary, and it is certainly conceivable you might have three or four different subjects being shown simultaneously.
Secretary UDALL. That is right. Mr. Gray. For example, we are soon going to celebrate our 200th birthday. We might have a film just relating to that, the birth of our country and this sort of thing. It is conceivable, having four separate theatres, you could be showing different subjects and giving the visitor a choice. I think this could be very exciting for the visitors.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Gentlemen, before we finally agree on even the size of the auditorium, we ought to counsel with people who have had experience in this field. I am thinking now particularly of Williamsburg. Williamsburg has a lot of traffic down there, but they have nothing as compared to the kind of traffic we will have here.
I would like to suggest that four theaters that are going to show a lot of different film will not be anywhere near what we will finally need.
I suggest two things: that we not make up our mind now as to the size of the auditorium and, second, that when we finally design them, we take advantage of all experience that is available, and there is a lot of it—not only at Williamsburg, but those people who put on these theater shows, demonstrations in the world fairs. The Walt Disney outfit has tremendous experience we could benefit from, and I think we should try to do that.
Also there is an economic way to do this and an uneconomic way to do this. I think the auditoriums, two of them ought to go together and the other two auditoriums go together. Have one central area having all the films and pictures from there.
In Williamsburg, for instances, they have two auditoriums and they have what they call a central projection room operation.
So I hope we will benefit from all experience available.
Mr. AUERBACH. Yes, sir. In that line I would like to say at this point that each pair is coupled around one projection room, have had the delightful opportunity of meeting Mr. John Harper, from Williamsburg. He has been of great help. We have not gone into the capacities with any, you know, statistical analysis at this time, but the arrangement of the theaters and their operation are patterned after Williamsburg.
Secretary UDALL. Congressman, Mr. Jett tells me in most of their planning, that they are keying it to 1976, which is of course the year of our 200th anniversary. This will be a big year in Washington. We expect the visitation to go way up. We are trying to key most of the planning we see here today so we can take care of this very large influx that will come that year.