79°Mostly Cloudy

“Does anyone know what happened with these buildings?”

by Prince Of Petworth January 25, 2017 at 1:30 pm 11 Comments


“Does anyone know what happened with these buildings? How long they’ve looked this way and if there’s any plans to incorporate them into a building project? They’re on the 400 block of 8th Street NW. They look like something from a film studio backlot.”

Ed. Note: We’ve spoken about these buildings a few times in the past – it’s beautification for a utility. Anyone remember – if it’s a pepco station front or something like that?

You can see all forum topics and add your own here.

  • Anon

    Pepco substation

  • C

    Anon above is correct, it is a facade for a Pepco substation. Many urban / suburban substations will use trompe l’oeil to help the substations blend in with the surrounding neighborhoods.

  • Michael Pierce

    Streets of Washington blog post that explains it all: http://www.streetsofwashington.com/2010/08/little-shop-that-survived-sort-of.html

  • They are pieces of real buildings that were demolished (in the 1970’s, I believe).

  • pcat

    When I was a little girl, my father was in charge of these substations. A new neighbor, who did not know what the building was, once thought that someone had died and that was why no one was there very often. The neighbors left flowers and food as a gesture of condolence. At least one of them (I think off Riggs Rd.) was redone as a small house.

    • textdoc


  • Low Headways

    The whole rest of the facade used to have fake doors/windows painted on it as well, but for some reason they were painting it all over right before Christmas. I’m still not sure why.

  • bruno

    I thought they had become a charter school, or is that further to the left? Kids from there populate nearby Teaism after school, driving the management and tea-sipping clients to distraction. Parents, take note!

  • TX2DC

    Interesting. I thought it might have been an old movie set or something.

  • Joshua

    Thanks everyone for the answer. The Streets of Washington link was quite interesting.


Subscribe to our mailing list