5200 Block of Wisconsin Avenue NW – 1970s/2021 was created as a site-specific public art installation for the inaugural exhibition of the Pepco Harrison Window Gallery. This work examines the cultural history of its location in Washington, DC. From a heavily wooded region used by the Nacotchtank (Anacostan) tribe to part of an over 3,000-acre land grant given to James Stoddard and Thomas Addison in 1713. In 1746 George Gordon, a tobacco merchant owned the property which was worked by enslaved Africans. By 1850 David Shoemaker farmed the land and in 1909 a trolly car barn was located here. In this block Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) built a substation in 1940 whose function, with modern updates, continues. Trolleys gave way to buses and a subway. The evolution of this site is in many ways typical of shifting land use in the United States. Through my use of layering images with various opacities, incorporating historic maps, photographs, text and ephemera, I tell the story of the ever-changing uses of this area. My 8 x 10 feet photocollage conveys a sense that the past never goes away entirely and continues to influence life today.
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