The Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground (ACDU) has taken on the task of revitalizing an abandoned trolley station beneath Dupont Circle in the Northwest quadrant of Washington D.C. The nonprofit organization recently signed for a 66-month lease of the property with the District of Columbia’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Within that timeframe, the group will transform the space into a permanent cultural hotspot capable of hosting performances, art exhibitions, and other public functions. Learn more, and contribute to the ACDU’s Fundable campaign for this project, after the break.
Julian Hunt is the founder of the ACDU. A co-principal of the D.C. design firm Hunt Laudi Studio, Hunt spent years working in the city of Barcelona and was inspired by the work architects had done in that city to renew urban spaces and promote cultural engagement. Upon moving to D.C., he resolved to implement what he’d learned in his new home city. Hunt says, “I didn’t find the same kind of energy and conversation going on here… My first effort was to launch a critical journal, but when I discovered the old trolley station, I realized that I had stumbled onto a compelling, vital place to make something happen right below one of the District’s iconic public spaces.”
The station below Dupont circle has remained largely empty since its closure in 1963. The most immediate goal for the ACDU is to clean up the east platform of the Underground, opening it up to the public so that they can, as Hunt says, “demonstrate what uses are best suited for the long term.” This preliminary opening is intended as a preview for the community, displaying the potential of the station to become a valuable public space. Over the next five years, the nonprofit will use this 23,000 square foot portion of the station to stage performances, exhibitions, and other public events, showcasing the station's versatility as a civic gathering place. To make all of this programming possible, the group is working with Destination Crowd Capital to attract investors and raising the necessary funds. It also plans to hire staff dedicated to organizing the events that will take place in the newly renovated space.