Welcome to Dupont, underground

The public soon may get a peek at the abandoned streetcar tunnels under Dupont Circle in Northwest Washington for the first time in 20 years. Events could begin in July, according to the nonprofit group Dupont Underground, which has leased the property for the next five years. Read related article.

Total space: 75,000 square feet. (Each platform has about 14,000 square feet of usable space.

Aboveground evidence
The only street-level changes will be signs and general sprucing up of the entrances.

1. Tunnels
Could be used for film or photo shoots but won’t open to the public.

2. Now: East platform
Minimal work — such as rewiring, upgrading the tiny bathroom and refurbishing entrances — will be required to bring the 1940s space up to code for groups of up to 99 people at the first arts events.

3. Entrances
These two will open first.

4. South tunnel
Public tours of the east platform and south tunnel could begin in May.

5. Later: West platform
Detritus from a 1995 food court litters this area, but it has power, sewer and sprinkler hookups in place. The group plans to return this platform to its raw, industrial appearance, but with modern amenities such as climate control that would allow for much larger events.

SOURCES: Braulio Agnese and Patrick P. Smith of Dupont Underground and Julian Hunt of Hunt Laudi Studio. GRAPHIC: Bonnie Berkowitz and Alberto Cuadra.