Jun 1, 2023 - Things to Do

Art at Metropolitan Park in Crystal City remembers lost community

Mushroom sculptures

These mushrooms glow in the dark! Photo: Cuneyt Dil/Axios

Eye-catching art is on display at Metropolitan Park, now open outside the first Amazon HQ2 towers in Crystal City.

Why it matters: The 2.5-acre park, renovated at a cost of $14 million to Amazon and featuring new playgrounds and new greenery, is part of the first phase of the HQ2 project, expected to create 25,000 jobs in Arlington.

Zoom in: The art on display includes a 35-foot-tall brick tower, Queen City, designed by Nekisha Durrett.

  • The artwork is named for a Black community in Arlington that was destroyed in the 1940s after the government seized the land through eminent domain for construction of the Pentagon, according to WETA.
  • Inside the structure are 903 pieces of ceramic vessels in a teardrop shape that commemorate the 903 residents who were displaced.
A brick tower art installation
Queen City commemorates a lost piece of Arlington. Photo: Cuneyt Dil/Axios

🍄 Another art piece, Shhh, by Aurora Robson, consists of sculpted mushrooms.

  • The artist used “upcycled plastic to create 3-D printed mushrooms” which glow in the dark at night, “reminiscent of the bioluminescent mushrooms found in nearby forests,” according to Arlington County.

Flashback: Crystal City really likes mushrooms: In 2021, ten large mushrooms were lit up on display near Long Bridge Park as a pop-up exhibit.

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