A Winery For Dupont Underground?

by Shilpi Paul

A Winery For Dupont Underground?: Figure 1
The Dupont Underground

Three urban wineries are in talks with the team behind the Dupont Underground about the possibility of opening up in the space, architect Julian Hunt said at a talk at the District Architecture Center on Thursday evening.

Hunt, the founder and chairman of the Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground (ACDU), said that the group is eager to engage the 75,000-square foot subterranean space with art galleries and other creative projects, but understands that a winery may fulfill the need for an economically viable use and also “fit our program.”

However, no specific timeline was given for a project that has intrigued DC residents for years, and any potential commercial uses are still in the earliest phases of brainstorming. ACDU, said Hunt, is moving forward more slowly and deliberately than the organizers of the previous attempt to revitalize the former streetcar station; the retail concept Dupont Down Under launched in 1995 and famously failed a year later.

A Winery For Dupont Underground?: Figure 2
A rendering of a potential park over Connecticut Avenue.

Other interesting ideas that have been considered for the space and the area around it include drilling through the medians surrounding Dupont Circle to create skylights and to bring natural light to the cave-like space, creating appealing, green entries at P Street NW and across from the Metro stop on Q Street NW, and decking over Connecticut Avenue between Dupont Circle and Q Street NW to creatable a walkable park area.

Currently, ACDU is in talks with the city to open up the eastern side of Dupont Underground to host temporary events, like visual art installations, musical events or pop-up retail.

At the talk, entitled Metamorphosis: Infrastructure to Civic Spaces, Hunt was joined by Scott Kratz, the man behind the 11th Street Bridge Park project, and Paul VanMeter of VIADUCTgreene, a Philadelphia project that is attempting to turn a former elevated rail line into green space.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/three_wineries_in_dupont_underground/6693


  1. xmal said at 4:33 pm on Friday February 22, 2013:
    Love the Connecticut park rendering---either that or wishing I could crawl back into bed!
  1. 7r3y3r said at 7:46 pm on Friday February 22, 2013:
    I like the idea of decking over Connecticut between the Circle and Q but I would not want to be under a tent in the summer.
  1. kob said at 8:19 pm on Friday February 22, 2013:
    We need to build underground spaces. Climate change is increasing the summer temps.
  1. Kevon said at 8:32 pm on Friday February 22, 2013:
    Climate change LOLOLOLOL, come on Kob. I like the design though.
  1. Franny T said at 10:07 pm on Friday February 22, 2013:
    I think the best reuse would be a underground "mall" for vendors ranging from boutiques to fresh fruit stands....and throw in an restaurant or two. Put the space up for lease and see who bits!
  1. Gregoire said at 1:04 am on Saturday February 23, 2013:
    Depending on who the urban winery represents it could be a huge benefit, or a huge drag on the success of this project. I think you may need some help in qualifying the interested parties and would be happy to help (pro-bono). Gregoire Founder, The American Grand Cru Society
  1. A said at 4:41 am on Saturday February 23, 2013:
    Indoor go-kart track please!
  1. Steve said at 4:12 am on Tuesday February 26, 2013:
    An underground shopping area is not sustainable in that concept form. It was tried once before as noted in the article. Other traditional shopping in an around DuPont circle has failed or is barely hanging on. A winery is definitely thinking out of the box but as Gregoire said it would depend on the winery chosen and its draw. What about boutique shops that are a bread factory, chocolate factory, and other sorts that compliment wine making.
  1. Caleb said at 4:51 am on Wednesday February 27, 2013:
    There is plenty of space above ground in DC to be redeveloped...we can look down there to do something if we need it in 50 years.

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