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Photos: DC’s First Underpass Art Park Opens in NoMa

Thousands of light-up rods now hang from the Metro underpass on M Street, Northeast.

“Rain,” the first of four light installations it has planned for underpasses from the NoMa/Gallaudet Metro stop south to Union Station. Photos courtesy of the NoMa Parks Foundation.

It took four years, but the first of NoMa’s four planned underpass art parks is finally open. The installation—titled “Rain”—can be found just outside the Metro entrance on M Street, Northeast, between 1st and Delaware streets. The 4,000 polycarbonate rods suspended from the underpass are intended to both beautify the neighborhood and brighten up a previously dark zone for pedestrians. They will remain lit 24 hours a day.  Oakland, California’s Thurlow Small Architects and Dutch firm NIO architecten designed the installation.

The first underpass park was initially scheduled for completion in 2015, but was beset by various construction delays. Three additional underpass parks are planned for L and K streets, Northeast, and Florida Avenue, Northeast. 



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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a possible wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.