View Full Version : Crystal Drive mural

05-14-2014, 12:45 AM
The mural is being painted on the side of the empty 1851 S. Bell St. building. The building will eventually be demolished and replaced with the new 1900 Crystal Drive, but Vornado has delayed the demolition because of the weak office market. So the Crystal City BID decided to do something with the building while it's just sitting there. (The building was used for the Artomatic event a couple years ago.)

EDIT-Vornado will no longer continue with plans for the new 1900 Crystal Drive, according to Washington Business Journal.

The mural project is inspired by a similar project in Miami's Wynwood district. After a slow start, the Crystal Drive mural is starting to get some color. On Tuesday, I saw this for the first time. He looks sort of like a mutant snail-human cyclist.


The other figures are interesting too.


You can see one of the artists working on the fruit and vegetable image, using a spray paint can.


The service lane running parallel to Crystal Drive.


The panel at the far end used to have some penguins sketched out a couple weeks ago, but that section was painted over with black paint. Now that section has several bright colors. I don't know if the penguins are returning. Or maybe part of the project involves changing designs? I don't really know. I hope they keep the cyclist, although he looks surreal and creepy, as if he escaped from the bizarre "Triplets of Belleville" movie (which I found mildly disturbing).


05-14-2014, 12:50 AM
The saxophonist is oddly appropriate. After going for a moderate bike ride, I ran through Long Bridge Park. As I went along the esplanade, I could hear a saxophone. Maybe it was someone blasting jazz from a speaker, but it sounded live. There were also several soccer and Ultimate Frisbee matches going on at the fields. As I turned around and approached the parking lot, I could hear the sax more clearly. Then I saw what it was. A taxi driver had parked his car and gotten out. He was standing next to the car, in the parking lot, playing his saxophone.

One of the stranger things I've seen there, but it was cool.

05-14-2014, 08:16 PM
I didn't even realize that this is going to be part of the course for the Crystal City Phoenix Derby. They are headed back to 1851 S. Bell St. (1900 Crystal Drive), the same building/garage that they used the first year (Spring 2012). They moved for the Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 events.

I saw a stack of hay bales sitting next to the Wall Cyclist this evening. Presumably those will be used to torture the ill-trained amateur cyclocross racers on Saturday.

12-18-2015, 03:55 PM
Vornado is no longer planning to build the new 1900 Crystal Drive in place of the existing building. It's possible that Vornado may have other plans for the empty office building. Perhaps a less-costly renovation, similar to that being planned for the building across the street (1750 Crystal Drive, which will be renamed 1770 Crystal Drive after the renovation).