Urban History: Exploring the Disused Streetcar Tunnels Beneath Dupont Circle

dupont-trolley-station-abandoned (Image: Eric Purcell, reproduced with permission)

Twenty-five feet beneath Dupont Circle, a bustling urban park in Washington, D.C., an abandoned streetcar station has remained eerily quiet and virtually forgotten since 1962. In the chilly, pitch-black space, disused tracks follow the crescent-shaped concrete tunnels of the former Dupont trolley station.


dupont-trolley-station-5 (Images: Eric Purcell, reproduced with permission)

According to the Washington Post, the 75,000 square feet of white-tiled tunnels had “the earthy smell of a cave”.  The station was built in 1949 along with the Connecticut Avenue traffic tunnel as part of an effort to reduce congestion around Dupont Circle.

dupont-down-under (Image: Eric Purcell, reproduced with permission)

The tunnel mouths were blocked-off when the station closed in 1962. But several street-level clues remain in the form of sealed entrances around the circle. The only signs of human intervention since its closure are the fake-trolley facades of the Dupont Down Under food court, a short-lived project that ended in failure amid significant controversy in 1996.


dupont-trolley-station-3 (Images: Eric Purcell, reproduced with permission)

Urban Turf DC writes that tours are available leaving from Cosi on R and 20th Street NW. In 2010 the Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground submitted a proposal to the D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, laying out its vision for the adaptive reuse of the historic space. Dupont Underground hopes to establish a world-class cultural destination.

Subscribe to our RSS feed and email alerts, or connect via Twitter and Facebook.



Popular Posts


Latest Articles



Explore Urban Ghosts


Abandoned & Urbex


Send this to friend

Urban Ghosts uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to serve you with advertisements that might interest you. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Privacy Policy

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.