WAMU 88.5 : News

Alexandria City Council To Consider Public Art Policy

Play associated audio
Some public art pieces remain controversial for years, like this recent addition to Mount Vernon Avenue.
Michael Pope
Some public art pieces remain controversial for years, like this recent addition to Mount Vernon Avenue.

City leaders in Alexandria are about to consider a new policy to require developers to contribute public art.

For many years, developers have donated public art to a variety of buildings in Alexandria — contributions that range from $10,000 to $10 million.

The current policy requires the city to negotiate with developers for public art and affordable housing, two areas that commercial property owner David Millard says compete for influence.

"We continue to see no nexus between land development and public art as opposed to the affordable housing contribution, where there's clearly a direct relationship between creating housing and jobs," says Millard.

Councilman David Speck says the uncertainty creates a problem.

"What do developers hate more than anything else uncertainty," says Speck. "You want to control your costs. You don't want costs added on that you can't control. And you definitely want to know what the specifics are."

Speck is offering a compromise that will be considered  Tuesday night. Instead of negotiating for each individual development project, he proposes all applicants contribute 30 cents for each square foot of development, with a cap of $75,000.


'Tis The Season For Coming Attractions: What To Watch For At The Multiplex

NPR film critic Bob Mondello offers a selective preview of the likely blockbusters and Oscar contenders that Hollywood has in store for the end of the year.

Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foragers don't just pick their meals from the trash; many eat only the finest, freshest produce — picked from city trees. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees to make jam.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.