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GSA Treatment for the Ariel Rios Murals

GSA initiated the Section 106 consultation process to consider whether the present setting for six murals at the Ariel Rios building, that have been contested, is the most appropriate way to display them. After considering the input received through the consultation process and reviewing GSA’s policy on Fine Arts and its obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act, GSA proposes to implement the following treatment and mitigation measures for the Ariel Rios Murals.


  • GSA will design and build a new screen to be placed at the Dangers of the Mail mural by Frank Mechau. The new screen will mask the mural from individuals passing through the lobby who do not wish to view the mural, while at the same time providing for a viewing experience for those who choose to view the mural. The screen will also incorporate revised interpretative materials to address the history of the art and the controversy associated with the mural. A comprehensive interpretive program will also be developed for all 22 murals in the building.
  • The consulting parties and others will be invited to participate on an advisory panel for the development of an appropriate screen for Dangers of the Mail mural and the interpretative materials for all 22 murals.

In response to the concerns presented, GSA considered the following options:

  1. Relocate the Dangers of the Mail mural to another room within the Ariel Rios Building where the mural could be viewed, but not within general public space.
  2. Establish a loan program that makes it possible for the mural to be placed on loan in a suitable museum.
  3. Do nothing, i.e., remove the interim screen.
  4. Replace the existing screen around the mural with a redesigned and more appropriate screen that would include better interpretative materials.

Portfolio Management Division (NCR PBS)
(202) 708-5334

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