The old streetcar station under Dupont Circle has been closed to the public since 1962, except for six months in 1995 when a small part of the station was converted into a food court. It is now in the beginning stages of re-opening under the non-profit Dupont Underground, as a multi-purpose arts and special usage space.
The D.C. streetcar system started in 1890, but the Dupont underground station was not built until 1949. The goal was to relieve some of the traffic around Dupont Circle. One of the main reasons for the traffic problems at Dupont was that there already was an above-ground trolley line, but instead of it going around the circle, it had lines in both directions sharing the west side of the circle, causing congestion and confusion against the circular pattern of automobiles around the circle.
The station runs under Connecticut Avenue from N to S Street, with 75,000 square feet of space. Most of the space is raw concrete and unadorned, except for some tiled walls around the entrances. There are seven entrances to the station, scattered around Dupont Circle, each one with stairs down to the platform. The station is only 8 feet below Dupont Circle.
The underground station operated for only thirteen years until the entire trolley system was shut down in 1962. After that, the tunnels briefly served as a fall-out shelter, and then even more briefly as a food court in 1995.