Commuters depicted in the mural at the Georgia Avenue Metro station.
With Metro’s current focus on repairing and upgrading the Metrorail system — and the disruption it is causing for daily commuters — it might be easy to overlook some of the things Metro has done well. One example that I appreciate every day is the mural at the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Station titled Homage to a Community.
The following description of the mural is from WMATA’s Web site,
Homage to a Community, by Florida artists Andrew Reid and Carlos Alves, is located at Georgia Avenue-Petworth station on the Green Line in the District of Columbia. The artwork consists of two components. The 130-foot-long stylized painted mural by Andrew Reid illustrates the rich history of the Georgia Avenue-Petworth community. The bold design of the contoured mural is a flowing chronology of defining events in the George Avenue-Petworth community in the context of local and world histories. The high energy of the handmade clay and cracked tiles of the accompanying frieze by Carlos Alves captures the spirit and promise of the Georgia Avenue-Petworth community.
In 2015, the Georgia Avenue station served about 6,300 daily riders. That’s a lot of people walking past the mural every day — yet I suspect few pay much attention to the mural and possibly fewer still take time to appreciate some of the imagery and how it relates to the community. In looking at the images, the mural largely shows a history of Georgia Avenue south of the Metro station and reads from right to left.
Among the images are references to Native Americans; Abraham Lincoln, the civil war, & the emancipation proclamation; Schuetzen Park; Howard University; Griffith Stadium and the Senators & Grays; the Bakeries of lower Georgia Avenue, such as Corby and Bond Bread; Duke Ellington and U Street; World War II; Civil Rights; and modern commuters.
Below are a few images from the mural:
(Native Americans are depicted at the beginning of the mural as one enters the station from the west side. One of D.C.’s oldest continuous streets is Rock Creek Church Road, which likely started at a trail blazed by Native Americans.)
(Abraham Lincoln is prominently included in the mural. Lincoln summered at the nearby Soldiers’ Home and would travel on Rock Creek Church Road and Georgia Avenue on his daily commute to the White House.)
(Germans drinking and shooting game refer to the old Schuetzen Park, located near Georgia Avenue and Irving Street.)
(Baseball at Griffith Stadium — located where Howard University Hospital now sits — is represented by this section of the mural.)
(The once active bakeries of southern Georgia Avenue are shown above. The section also includes a streetcar.)
(Duke Ellington and the vibrant U Street community are depicted above.)