To revitalize the abandoned trolley station beneath Dupont Circle for presenting, producing, and promoting cutting-edge arts, architecture, design, and creative endeavors.
To establish a cultural destination in the nation’s capital that partners with emerging voices in contemporary arts and architecture; encourages public participation, education, and engagement; and leverages development of the Dupont Underground as a catalytic force for the city in the 21st century.
The Dupont Underground is transforming a forgotten space beneath Washington, D.C.’s iconic Dupont Circle into a cultural destination.
Opened in 1949 as a trolley station, 75,000 s.f. of underground platforms and tunnels were closed off in 1962, when the city’s streetcar system shut down. Other than designation as fallout shelter in the late 1960s and hosting a short-lived food court on the west platform in the mid-1990s, the space has remained empty. Until now.
In late 2014, the Dupont Underground signed a five-year lease with the District for the entire space. Now we are working to activate about one-third of it — the east platform, plus some of the tunnel space — to demonstrate what uses are best suited for the long-term buildout of all 75,000 s.f. Over the next five years we plan on activating the space in many ways:
art & design exhibitions
public arts performances
pop-up retail & dining
creative economy incubators
demonstrations of emerging technologies
film shoots & commercial photography
rental space for private events
In addition, we will also be working on long-term plans to permanently redevelop all 75,000 square feet as a mixed-use cultural destination. Our objectives for the space:
Create a unique, centrally located venue for exhibitions and events.
Provide a democratic space for community groups, educators, and entrepreneurs.
Develop an institution that brings wider attention to the District’s arts and design culture.
Strengthen the social networks that patronize the arts and inform business interests in the city, the region, and across the nation.
Return a long-abandoned space back to the public realm.”
Across from the closing July 18th Books a Millon: