A National Building Museum curator shows off a pedestrian-friendly oasis that manages to coexist with urban traffic
At the bottom of this post is a terrific video tour of DC's Dupont Circle neighborhood, featuring my friend Susan Piedmont-Palladino, architect, educator, curator at the National Building Museum, and Dupont Circle resident. But first some photos and thoughts:
Like residents of most great cities, Washingtonians can be passionate about our neighborhoods, celebrating, say, the lively rejuvenation of Columbia Heights, the diversity of Shaw, the promise of Trinidad, the architecture of Georgetown or Logan Circle, the village feel of Tenleytown (where I live). Rightfully so. But in the mix, we almost overlook Dupont Circle, taking it for granted. We shouldn't.
Just north of downtown at the convergence of three of L'Enfant's great Avenues and two of our gridded streets, Dupont is where the predominantly commercial downtown begins to give way to predominantly residential but still decidedly urban streets; where tall buildings meet row houses. Its Metro station is, by my observation, the most balanced at rush hour, commuters getting on and off the Red Line in more or less equal numbers. It is incredibly walkable, active with life but seldom feeling overwhelming to the pedestrian.