Ms. Feldman chairs the National Coalition to Save Our Mall, a nonprofit, all-volunteer citizens organization, and is an authority on issues surrounding the Mall’s further development., Judy Scott Feldman delivered an illustrated lecture on how the National Mall has evolved from Pierre L’Enfant’s original vision to its reality today and how it might look in the future. Ms. Feldman chairs the National Coalition to Save Our Mall, a nonprofit, all-volunteer citizens organization, and is an authority on issues surrounding the Mall’s further development.
According to Feldman, L’Enfant considered the Mall the most important element of his plan for the capital city, the nexus of federal and local life, but his concept was never really achieved. Feldman showed that the Mall’s history has been one of constant change, of L’Enfant’s democratic idea ignored, deferred, replaced, and recast to suit changing needs, and she also raised some provocative questions about how the Mall might best meet the needs of the next hundred years.
A native Washingtonian, Feldman earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in art history from Penn State University and a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Texas at Austin. After several years of teaching at the University of Dallas, she moved back to Washington in 1993 and taught medieval art history and Washington architecture at American University. She left AU in 1999 to devote herself to the work of the Coalition, educating the public about Mall history, current issues, and creative ideas for the Mall's future.