There's something exciting about the mystery of the abandoned underground trolley station in Dupont Circle. It's a secret space paused in time. We were captivated by the former Massachusetts entrance, steps from The Embassy Row Hotel. In fact, the new restaurant at The Embassy Row Hotel, Station Kitchen & Cocktails (more details coming soon), is named after the Dupont Circle underground trolley station. The space has been unknown by most until recently when the old trolley station was "adopted." We were lucky enough to receive a tour of the underground space with Braulio Agnese, board member for the Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground.
Braulio narrated during our walk in the tunnels. We learned a lot about this special space from the past, and what will become a cultural destination in the near future.
The 75,000 square feet of underground space below Dupont Circle served as a trolley station between 1949 and 1963.
When the trolley stopped functioning, the underground space became a fallout shelter, until it was completely shut down in 1975.
For a brief six months in the 1990s, the tunnel served as a food court called Dupont Down Under.
The nonprofit Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground (ACDU) — whose members and supporters include artists, designers, community leaders, and businesspeople — is transforming the forgotten 75,000 square foot space below Washington, D.C.'s famous Dupont Circle into a cultural destination.
The ACDU wants to demonstrate what uses of the platforms and tunnels are best suited for the long-term buildout of the space. Over the next five years they plan on activating the space in many ways: