Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial: Inquiries & Frequently Asked Questions
Please send questions regarding this solicitation to Dominic Lackey at the City of Alexandria. Questions may be sent by fax at 703.838.6493 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reference the solicitation number and title on the fax or email. The deadline for submitting questions is September 15, 2009.
Answers to the questions will be posted here and added to the RFQ as an Addendum. If you are registered on the eprocure system, you will automatically receive this addendum.
Questions and Answers:
1. Is the Recreation Center looking for something specific, or just as long as the project reflects and honors Charles Houston and his legacy, I can take the project idea into my own hands?
The City is not looking for something specific as long as it meets the project goals stated in the RFQ. There is a desire for a vertical sculptural element that is a part of the memorial and located in the sight line of the entrance to the Black History Museum across the street. A timeline of important milestones in the Parker-Gray History and its correlation to the national struggle for civil rights should also be incorporated
2. What is the size limit for the project both biggest and the smallest that the Plaza can use?
The artist could choose to limit the scope of the artwork to just a vertical sculptural element as long as it addresses all of the stated goals. The area that is reserved for the vertical sculptural element is approximately 20 feet x 12 feet though it would not be required to use that entire space. The artist may also choose to expand the scope of the artwork to encompass the entire Plaza area in front of the Center. Please refer to the web site for architectural drawings of the plaza, visit www.alexandriava.gov/arts and then click on the link to the Charles Houston Memorial Public Art Project. From there, click on the link for “Site.”
3. Will the memorial project be placed outside in some point and if so, will it stay within the school limits?
The memorial project will be placed outside in the location indicated on the site plans found on the web site. Please visit www.alexandriava.gov/arts and then click on the link to the Charles Houston Memorial Public Art Project. From there, click on the link for “Site.”
4. Does the finished product need to be out of bronze.
It does not need to be made of bronze, but it should incorporate a vertical sculptural element that is made of material conducive to an outdoor environment and be low maintenance.
5. What is the intention of the space? As in, is there going to be people walking in the area only, or is there going to be benches for people to sit around the sculpture, or is there anything else of this nature intended for this area?
The space is currently experienced both passively and actively by visitors to the Recreation Center and the Black History Museum, nearby residents, those walking to and from the Metro, and drivers passing through the neighborhood. There are benches currently located on the plaza. To see pictures, please visit the web site and click on the link for “Site.” The artist may choose to incorporate additional benches if desired.
6. Is the sculpture able to encroach upon the sidewalk or does it need to stay only in the grass next to the building?
The sculpture may encroach upon the sidewalk as long as it maintains proper access around it. Please visit the web site and view the plans for more specific information on location.
7. Does the sculpture belong more to the recreation center and the museum and reading room across the street, or is it more for the community as a whole?
While the sculpture will be sited on the grounds of the Charles Houston Recreation Center and across from the Black History Museum and be of particular importance to the residents of the neighborhood, it will “belong” to the community as a whole. The Center itself is viewed as “belonging” to the community as a whole and is indeed used by individuals of diverse backgrounds from throughout the City. The Center functions as a neighborhood anchor and an important connective element for the City. It serves as a bridge for a racially and socioeconomically diverse group by providing a unique place within the community where all residents come together and participate in common interests.