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Fundraiser for the Dupont Underground Friday, September 7th at Eastern Market

by Prince Of Petworth — August 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm 29 Comments

Photo courtesy of Dupont Underground

From a press release:

On Friday, September 7th, the Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground (ACDU) will be throwing a giant fundraiser/buzz builder. The event will be held “Aboveground” at Eastern Market’s North Hall.

All net funds collected from the event will go to help push ACDU and the Dupont Underground project forward. Money raised will help fund an international architectural competition that will bring world-wide attention to the efforts of ACDU. It will also fund the re-opening of one of the “underground” entrances for special events, pop-ups, shows, incubators, and whatever new ideas the group can test out as part of a phased plan to re-open the entire site.

Sponsors, Bombay Sapphire (who have created two specialty drinks for the event), Star Hill Brewery, Stella Artois and Veritas Vineyard will be filling cups. KIND Snacks and Popchips will be supplying the munchies. A giant raffle with thousands of dollars worth of goods will be on display. Raffle sponsors include: Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design, The Pinkline Project, Our City Film Festival, KIND Snacks, Urban Style Lab, Bombay Sapphire, Marc by Marc Jacobs, local artists’ works and more.

Dupont Underground is an ambitious project that will invigorate the city’s art scene by reclaiming this ideally-sited piece of subterranean infrastructure — a streetcar station last used 50 years ago. We seek to establish a world-class center for arts, design, and innovative entrepreneurship. Powered by creative pursuits and social networks, this former transit space at the head of a key urban axis will serve as a civic focal point for Washington.

You can purchase tickets here.

  • Anonymous

    Ironic they couldn’t find a place in DuPont Circle to have a fundraiser!

    • Kendra

      Hey Anonymous,

      We looked for a place in Dupont Circle but there was nothing that would fit enough people and had a rental fee that would help us raise money.

      Hope you will join us for this fundraiser. The idea is to raise enough money that we can start having activities in the Underground itself.

  • Matt

    I don’t really care what or who goes here. I just think it’s cool, and I’m happy that I now know it exists.

  • Florista

    It actually WAS used for something (food court?) several years ago, but couldn’t make it. So much potential in that space!

  • Anonymous

    Hey that’s where I dwell!

  • Anonymous

    if we are re-building a streetcar system in the city, wouldn’t it make sense to preserve and use an already-extant streetcar tunnel under one of the busiest circles in town as a streetcar station? why is this never discussed as the obvious option for this ?

    • Anonymous

      because we’re not rebuilding the streetcar along connecticut avenue.

      • Anonymous

        ok, but couldn’t this be used for another direction’s route? seems odd to have a fully built streetcar station under dupont and not consider reusing it for the same purpose…

        • Anonymous

          on the surface, you have a decent argument. the thing you haven’t thought of is that this wasn’t a transportation hub. it was a turnaround. modern street cars don’t need turnarounds, they hit the end of their line, then go backwards. like subway cars. the nearest (proposed) proposed street car line is either k street or u street to 18th. neither are close enough to justify the line moving to 18th and p. also, we don’t need street car stations, we just need stops.

          and yes, this has all been discussed by ddot.

          • suomynona

            It wasn’t a turnaround, it was a regular stop.

          • Anonymous

            I guess I was wrong about the turnaround thing. I’m sorry. I did not mean to add misinformation to the conversation

          • Anonymous

            it’s a regular inline stop located literally on top of a metro station (perfect place to transfer from metro to trolley) and in the middle of one of the most popular and populated parts of the city. I’m sorry but its crazy that we’re not finding a way to re-use this given the challenges involved in building new infrastructure like this.

      • Anonymous

        Uh…buses could use the former trolley stations which would reduce traffic on DuPont Circle. To leave this underground transportation hub unused in such a congested area makes absolutly no sense.

    • bb

      Using it for art would be great, but the difficulty of getting around in that area would seem to point to use as a transportation hub yet again. Even if it was just for pedestrians so they don’t have to cross the circle…

    • Anonymous

      +100. This art project just like the underground food court is I’ll conceived and destined to fail!

  • Anonymous

    it’s perfect for art. or a go cart track.
    possibly a log flume ride.

    or a heroin den.

  • I have commented to ANC 2B and Jack Evans office that whatever use is decided on, it is imperative that the trackways and station infrastructure be maintained in a state of good repair for transit use…and that any use of the space such as for art or retail specifically include language that they will be required to reconfigure or vacate without recourse should it be reclaimed for transit use. That would not preclude using the trackways for other purposes, just that nothing of a “permanent” nature be done (such as paving them over or removing them entirely) that would involve any significant monetary outlay or other effort to “undo.”

    If such measures are not taken now, it is guaranteed that sometime not far in the future it will prove to a monumental mistake…like obliterating the streetcar system in the first place turned out to be.

    • Anonymous

      we have a subway system now though. and it runs along connecticut avenue, from Farragut up to to Van Ness.

      • So, what? We have buses that replicate the routes of most of the other subway lines. A streetcar adjunct to the subway (with restricted lane usage during rush hours) that remained in Connecticut Avenue well north of Van Ness would provide better and faster ride to the thousands of people who live in that corridor and have the L2 bus every 20 minutes. Add interchanges with the Calvert and K Street lines and a whole new set of through-routing options become possible. Stops every 2-3 blocks and headways of 8-10 minutes all day would add major convenience to everyone in the corridor north of Dupont. And it would alleviate crowding on the Red Line by giving short-trippers (those who go 3 stops or fewer on the train) an alternative that would probably put them closer to their destinations. In peak, fewer people in town would be squeezing into already-full trains.

        You need to look at the big picture. Unless hundreds of billions of dollars suddenly appears to reconfigure the existing system to build greater capacity on the trunks, we have to come up with alternatives. Returning streetcars to Connecticut Avenue would be financially do-able and achievable within 8-10 years of construction start. Don’t dismiss the idea because it may not benefit you personally.

        • Anonymous

          i agree that it would add convenience. i just don’t think it will happen.
          and i can’t think of anything that would go in the space that would benefit me personally.

          • It may take another 20 years before it *must* be built out of absolute necessity, but sooner or later, it will. Failing to act now to preserve a significant piece of infrastructure would be absolutely irresponsible.

      • Anonymous

        so this is a perfect spot for riders to transfer from metro to the trolleys.

        • Julian Hunt, President of ACDU

          Just something to consider.

          1) The likely hood of re-opening the space as a streetcar is remote.
          2) It would be redundant with the metro below.
          3) The space is too antiquated and structurally out-of-date for a new streetcar system.
          4) Whatever the case our proposal has a light footprint and in the remote possibility that the space gets requisitioned for a station we won’t be in the way.

  • Anon20009

    I have to say that I get a bad vibe from this event. The organization that is trying to promote this “ambitious project” has to hold a fundraiser to get it going? Raffles and munchies (and cocktails for the grown-ups) – it sounds like the Spring Fair at my parochial grade school. It makes me think that is another dead end for Dupont Underground, unless some entity with deep pockets joins in. And, as noted by an earlier poster, it does not seem productive to hold the event across town, far away from the site and the local neighborhoods which are the likely source of many/most users.

    Sure, the whole thing could be a smashing success, but Dupont Underground has a history of inspiring smashing failures, and this event does not make me optimistic that that history is going to change anytime soon.

    • John

      The event has sponsors. Did you see the invitation? Also, a spring fair? Really? Justin Jones, Margot MacDonald and Alex Minoff performed at your elementary school. That’s pretty impressive.

      I think this is a great way to get the community involved and aware of this ambitious project. The more support they can muster to get this off the ground the better.

      Yes, it would be better if it would be in Dupont Circle, but maybe there is no place that could suit the event’s needs. Yet another reason to put energy and funds toward opening the Underground.

  • The Jimmy

    So, the Hilton Washington on Conn Ave. just three blocks up the street does not have the capacity for the event? The Crystal Ballroom maybe booked for another event, but they have a number of other conference rooms and space. I realize the Hilton proabably would come with a cost for the rental of the space and liquor fee, but it is in the neighborhood.

    • Kendra

      You got it, Jimmy. Cost is everything when organizing a fundraiser. Eastern Market has an amazing deal for nonprofits. Thanks for the suggestion though. Hope to see you at the event.


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