Press Club

The plaza outside the Crystal City Metro station is getting a new look

Changes are coming to the plaza outside the Crystal City Metro station.

Developer JBG Smith and the National Landing Business Improvement District are funding a number of enhancements to the plaza and the streetscape, including a new mural, expanded seating options, additional landscaping, festive lighting, and new trees.

It’s part of a plan to make the area collectively known as National Landing more inviting as more people return to their offices and the pandemic (hopefully) winds down.

“The improvements are intended to welcome residents, workers, and visitors ‘back to transit’ as offices and businesses throughout National Landing safely reopen their doors,” the BID said in a press release, which referred to the office district around the Metro station as “downtown National Landing.”

The BID says that it has selected a winning design for the mural that will adorn a concrete wall next to the plaza, after soliciting design ideas earlier this year.

More from the press release:

To kick off the enhancement project, the National Landing BID has welcomed an iconic new mural by DC-based artist Lisa Marie Thalhammer called “Harmony” that adorns the metro plaza’s expansive west wall. The artwork, which measures approximately 115 feet in length and 20 feet in height, will act as a vibrant new front door to the Crystal City Metro entrance. Featuring the artist’s signature usage of the harmonious color spectrum, the design was selected unanimously through a competitive process that was sponsored by the BID.

JBG SMITH, with the National Landing BID as its funding partner, is carrying out a concurrent public space improvement project intended to refresh the plaza outside the Crystal City Metro to create a more inviting arrival experience. The planned updates will include a more open layout, expanded seating options, additional landscaping, festive lighting, new trees and a biophilic design. JBG SMITH is also improving other open spaces and amenities along 18th Street. Completion is anticipated for winter 2022.

“At JBG SMITH, placemaking is core to our DNA, and this project serves as a golden opportunity to convert mobility infrastructure into truly compelling public spaces that contribute significantly to the quality of life for the whole community,” said Jay Corbalis, Vice President of Public Affairs for JBG SMITH.

The revamped public space is just one of a number of things rapidly changing the face of Crystal City and Pentagon City. Other projects in the works include a number of redevelopments, the ongoing construction and design of the two phases of Amazon’s HQ2, and a second entrance to the Crystal City Metro station.

“The additional entrance, which is anticipated to open by the end of 2023, is intended to alleviate platform congestion and deliver riders directly to Crystal City’s retail main street, Crystal Drive,” the BID’s press release also notes. “Combined with the myriad private development projects that are helping reshape the neighborhood streetscape, National Landing has an incredible opportunity to enhance walkability and deliver human-scale mobility.”

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Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.

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