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.
• To drive discussion about the essential role of contemporary arts and architecture in the District of Columbia by presenting groundbreaking work and hosting temporary exhibitions and events that challenge artists, designers, and audiences.
• To contribute to the ongoing evolution of Dupont Circle as a vital public space that engages D.C.’s diverse residents and visitors.
• To foster a cultural identity unique to the nation’s capital by partnering with local and international artists and architects and offering a public platform for emerging voices and new audiences.
Board of Directors
- Julian Hunt, Founder/Interim Chairman
Principal, Hunt Laudi Studio
- Braulio Agnese, Director of Communications, MakeDC
- Stylianos Christofides, Principal, SC Squared LLC
- Anne Montgomery, Senior Policy Analyst, Altarum Institute
- Jeanette Norton, Regional Training Specialist, Foundation Center
- Lauren Victor, Real Estate Consultant
- Daniel Warwick, Commissioner, ANC2B
- Managing Director: Braulio Agnese
- Director of Real Estate Development: Patrick Smith
- Design Coordinator: Monling Lee
- Event Consultant: Kendra Rubinfeld
The Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground (ACDU) 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 1963, 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 ACDU 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
- Community events
- Educational events
- Pop-up retail & dining
- Creative economy incubators
- Demonstrations of emerging technologies
- Film shoots & commercial photography
- Rental space for private events
In addition, the ACDU 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.
Located in Washington’s northwest quadrant, Dupont Circle is part of Pierre L’Enfant’s original design for the nation’s capital. Among the city’s most popular neighborhoods, it marks the intersection of two major thoroughfares — Connecticut Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue — and sits atop the Metro system’s Red Line.
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- 11th Street Bridge Park, D.C. Transforming an old bridge across the Anacostia River into the city’s first elevated park: a new venue for healthy recreation, environmental education, and the arts.
- Zollverein, Essen A German mining complex shut down in 1986 gets world-class architecture for public spaces, museums, education, and business.
- Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Sydney A dilapidated underground reservoir in Australia’s largest city is converted into a sunken garden for community and cultural activities.
- The Lowline, New York City A plan to use innovative solar technology to turn a historic trolley terminal on the Lower East Side into an underground park.
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