Washington DC is mainly known for its historical prominence and astounding sculptures and buildings, which are sure to make you freeze with amazement. This makes the capital city of America is the perfect destination for you if you are history buff or architectural junkie. Furthermore, it is wise to explore the rare places in the city rather than the highlighted attractions, as the hyped places here will be very crowded and noisy.
One of the least explored places in the capital, which is worth a visit on your Washington DC tours, is the Dupont underground. This is actually a long trolley tunnel that was abandoned for a long time, but now, the place is becoming an artistic space.
The Dupont Underground
The Dupont underground is located underneath the Dupont circle in the bustling city of Washington DC. The major way of transportation around 100 years ago was the streetcar systems, which was drawn by horses at first. Later, this streetcar system ferried around the city by means of powered elevated electric cables.
The Dupont station that was constructed during 1949 was the only underground station at that time and hence stood out in the streetcar system. This unique station was functional until 1962; the streetcar system was shut down then, as bus lines replaced the way of transportation. At that time, there were plans to convert this place into a metro rail system in future as well.
Later, this vacant underground station was set up as a fallout shelter, as there were chances of nuclear war against the Soviet Union. This function also subsisted until 1975, and then the tunnel was sealed and deserted.
After two decades, a developer bought this place and converted it into a beautiful and innovative food court. Numerous food stalls were set up on either side of the rail, and all the stalls were designed in the shape of old streetcars. However, the food court too was shut down soon, as the area was poorly lit and there was no ventilation either. The lack of air made it miserable for the food vendors to work here and customers too were hesitant to come down for a bite to devour.
The subway tunnels were later reopened to the public in 2016, and the process of converting this 75,000 square foot old streetcar station into an artistic space began. Today, you can see many artistic pieces that even consist of various light and sound features, graffiti adorns, ruins of the former food court, etc., over here. While exploring the tunnel on your tours in Washington DC, it is recommended to wear closed-toe shoes, as the floor in some areas of the tunnel are still under repair.