D.C. reviewing plans for Dupont tunnels
The District is evaluating two proposals from groups seeking to restore abandoned trolley tunnels beneath Dupont Circle, including one from a local arts group that has pitched turning the trolley station platforms into a series of art galleries.
Neil Goradia, a project director with the deputy mayor’s office for planning and economic development, said Wednesday that two groups responded to the city’s request for proposals by the July 8 deadline. Goradia declined to give details of either plan.
The city sought proposals in March for ways to redevelop the historic underground trolley station and tunnels that have been dark and largely undisturbed since the short-lived Dupont Down Under food court failed there in 1996. Two parallel tunnels run about 20 feet beneath Connecticut Avenue NW and wrap, crescent-shaped, around each side of the traffic circle above. The last streetcar left the station in 1962.
Julian Hunt, a local architect and director of the Arts Coalition for Dupont Underground, said his group submitted a plan to turn the station platforms into galleries for avant-garde art shows and exhibits of experimental architecture. Hunt said he was aware of the other group’s proposal but declined to comment on it while the city considers both. Hunt’s group has spoken publicly about its plans since the city granted a tour of the tunnels and station platforms in January.
Goradia said he expects a decision within the next six months. The evaluation process will include presentations to the community, he said.
-- Katherine Shaver
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