The Monuments That Were Never Built
In a new exhibit at the National Building Museum, imagine Washington D.C. as it could have been
- By Megan Gambino
- Smithsonian.com, November 23, 2011
(Edward Durell Stone Collection (MC 340), Box 104. Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville)
The Kennedy Center, on the Potomac River near Georgetown, is actually a simpler, more affordable stand-in for the architect’s original design. Edward Durell Stone’s preliminary proposal in 1959—for which he was hired—put forth an elaborate venue with three performance halls attached to a round, domed rotunda. A terrace outside the rotunda’s glass periphery jutted out over the river, and the architect, channeling Venice, imagined guests and performers arriving by boat. Another view, sketched by Stone, shows the center’s glitzy interior. “You can see Zsa Zsa Gabor swooping through in a sequined dress,” says Moeller.