The center had planned to build a huge plaza over the Potomac Freeway to allow pedestrians access from the National Mall and other landmarks in central Washington. Two buildings along the edges of the plaza were to house educational programs, exhibition space, and rehearsal space. Architect Rafael Viê±oly has already designed the plaza and had been chosen to design the two buildings, according to the Post.
The center has been planning the project, which would cost $650 million, since 2001. The federal government had agreed to contribute $400 million, and has already contributed millions of dollars for preliminary studies. As the transportation bill shrunk from $375 billion to $286 billion, however, the main funding for the project was eliminated in favor of more essential spending on infrastructure.
Officials told the paper that the project could be revived eventually, but Congress is unlikely to reconsider appropriating the money until 2009.