For decades an underground streetcar station in the District remained unused. In an effort to stamp the nation's capital as an art city, nearly three weeks ago the tunnels under Dupont Circle reopened as an interactive art space.
In a project called Dupont Underground the tunnels are being used for the first time since serving as a food court in the 1990s. “It’s a way to show the world that this is a top-tier art city,” says Philippa Hughes, with the Arts Coalition for Dupont Underground. To get in, visitors are reminded of its original use. Visitors must walk down stairs that streetcar riders used until the station closed in 1962.
According to board member Lauren Victor not much has changed to the original structure, other than a bit of cleaning up. Even the original tracks are still in place.
As far as new elements, the first exhibit is full of donated plastic balls from last summer’s popular “Beach” exhibit at the National Building Museum. The exhibit full of balls is called "Raise/ Raze" and was designed by a New York firm called Hou de Sousa. Visitors will get to build a variety of structures with the cubes.
“The balls were made into cubes [and] cubes are held together by Velcro, and anything that’s not higher than your head, you’re going to be allowed to take apart and put together as you wish,” Victor said.
Each exhibit in the space looks completely different, but getting a chance to see it in person is not so easy. Showings continue throughout the month, both on weekday nights and weekends, but the limited tickets are completely sold out. Due to demand a change could be coming. This is extremely likely with the news that Dupont Underground holds a five-year lease on the space!