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MONDAY

Extending the Legacy: Planning America’s Capital for the 21st Century, the National Capital Planning Commission’s prospectus for 100 new memorials and monuments beyond the city’s ceremonial nucleus, isn’t suspect so much for its “vision” (think Futurama; a proposed aquarium on Kingman Island is pictured) as for its voice, which is tellingly passive: “RFK Stadium will be replaced by a memorial, an environmental center and housing and commercial development”; “New and existing federal buildings can be enlivened with gardens, cafes and art exhibits”; “Barriers to enjoying the river will be removed”; “A deteriorating M Street will be renewed.” The question is: Who will replace, enliven, remove, and renew? Would that be the same NCPC that has helped displace, deaden, unmove, and outdate D.C.’s downtown at every turn over the past two decades? Ah, the ironies are rich. See, for example, the part of the plan that says, “If the Monumental Core is to remain America’s national gathering place and at the same time preserve its historic openness, sites for…new museums and memorials must be found outside the Mall….Legacy strongly discourages new building on the Mall itself.” Preserve historic openness? Discourage new building on the Mall? Great idea! Let’s start by tearing up the current plans for the World War II Memorial slated to hog the hallowed ground just east of the Reflecting Pool. Otherwise, how much credibility does NCPC’s Legacy have? NCPC Joint Task Force on Memorials Chair Margaret Vanderhye makes her case in the symposium “Building Memorials Beyond the Mall: The Memorials and Museums Master Plan” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 10, at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $12. For reservations call (202) 272-2448. (Bradford McKee)