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Nina Mitchell (“The Hole Story,” 9/7) writes that Gordon Bunshaft’s September 1967 “scribble inspired Metro’s arched ceilingsthe prospect of creating massive vaulted stations excited the architects on the project.”
In fact, architect Harry Weese first proposed vaults for Washington’s transit system in July 1966, more than a year before Bunshaft’s sketch. Nor were the box-station designs worked out by Weese and his engineer counterparts “thoroughly conventional,” as Mitchell suggests. They featured bold structural forms, indirect lighting, and even more space than the eventual vaults.
Readers may compare each of these designs in the “Architecture” section of “Building the Washington Metro: An Online Exhibit,” at http://chnm.gmu.edu/metro. They are also invited to record their own experiences of riding Metro.