Should Dupont Underground Take Cues From Paris?

by UrbanTurf Staff

Should Dupont Underground Take Cues From Paris?: Figure 1
The Dupont Underground

Paris has over 300 Metro stations, but after World War II, eleven sat abandoned or never opened, and have remained that way. Now, a team that includes a mayoral candidate, is envisioning what can be done with the abandoned spaces. The ideas range from a performance space to a restaurant to a night club. Below are a few of the renderings:

Should Dupont Underground Take Cues From Paris?: Figure 2
Rendering by architect Manal Rachdi and urban planner Nicolas Laisné. Click to enlarge.

Should Dupont Underground Take Cues From Paris?: Figure 3
Rendering by architect Manal Rachdi and urban planner Nicolas Laisné. Click to enlarge.

Should Dupont Underground Take Cues From Paris?: Figure 4
Rendering by architect Manal Rachdi and urban planner Nicolas Laisné. Click to enlarge.

Looking at these creative images made us wonder: Could any of these ideas work in the Dupont Underground space?

Last February, UrbanTurf reported that three wineries were in talks with the team behind the redevelopment of the former streetcar station below Dupont Circle about the possibility of opening up in the space. Julian Hunt, the founder and chairman of the Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground (ACDU), said that the group was eager to engage the 75,000-square foot subterranean space with art galleries and other creative projects, but understood that a winery may fulfill the need for an economically viable use and also “fit our program.”

Should Dupont Underground Take Cues From Paris?: Figure 5
A rendering of a potential park over Connecticut Avenue.

However, that was a year ago, so we reached out to ACDU’s Braulio Agnese to get an update on the project and see if they would take any inspiration from the Parisian ideas.

“At the moment, we remain in a holding pattern, close to a milestone but waiting for some other things to happen before we can move forward,” Agnese said in an email. “We are always inspired by efforts to reclaim abandoned urban spaces and infrastructure for the public good. It’s especially incredible to see the architectural and design ideas that flourish from confronting the concrete-and-masonry-box realities of subterranean spaces.”

See other articles related to: dupont underground, dupont circle

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/should_the_dupont_underground_take_cues_from_paris/8100


  1. Found said at 7:04 pm on Friday February 7, 2014:
    Dupont Underground should do the same thing that Paris did: create a number of different renderings of possible options for the space and then get input on what the city and public like best.
  1. Brian Larkin said at 9:32 pm on Friday February 7, 2014:
    Repurposing Dupont Circle has been tried and failed. As a 40+ year Dupont Circle resident, I've heard to various enthusiastic ideas and seen than one attempt to repurpose "Dupont Underground." None succeeded. I think the main reason is that, by and large, people just don't want to be underground. The don't feel safe. Rational or not, they don't feel comfortable. If there is an answer, it would seem to lie in non-social uses. I don't know what this could be -- industrial and putlic storage of some type, perhaps. Rather than looking to the entertainment industry, urban planners might more profitably turn to industrial engineers. Instead of imagining a mini Atlanta Underground, a better model might be to look along the lines of Stone Mountain.
  1. James said at 2:22 am on Monday February 10, 2014:
    Leave it to Urban Turf to support the destruction of the historic McMillan Sand Filtration Plant and its underground vaulted caverns which look just like the Paris metro stations and propose the Paris plan for Dupont. Absurd and clueless.
  1. Barrie Daneker said at 5:35 pm on Monday February 10, 2014:
    Oh James you are the clueless and absurd moron who knows very little about the site to make your comment. Stick to your own neighborhood or better yet shut your trap about this one as you are neither an engineer, a developer nor a city planner. So really what the heck would you know other than you want to hug a tree every once in a while. Trust me McMillan will have many of them when this is complete. It's new residents like you who know nothing but want something that make no sense and the rest of us to pay for it!

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