Skip to content
CityLab
Design

A Dark D.C. Underpass Gets the 'Rain Room' Treatment

The city has embraced some of its creepiest infrastructure as an opportunity for art.
relates to A Dark D.C. Underpass Gets the 'Rain Room' Treatment
NoMA Business Improvement District

Up until a few years ago, no one lived in the Washington, D.C., neighborhood that's now called NoMa. Hell, up until a few years ago, the office mid-rises and mixed residential buildings that dominate the area north of Union Station simply weren't there. But now people live there, and those people want parks.

NoMa doesn't have any. Creepy underpasses, though—NoMa's got those in spades. The spaces where the street grid passes underneath the train tracks running north from Union Station are some of the least inviting in the city. And for NoMa residents, they're unavoidable. Inspired perhaps by the magic of the High Line in New York, the NoMa Business Improvement District came to recognize its creepy infrastructure as an opportunity.