At 24 feet tall, it is hard to miss Albert Paley’s Epoch, which stands in front of the old PEPCO building at 9th and G Streets NW. In addition to its large size, its design and multicolored finish draw anyone’s attention to its great heights. The sculpture is composed of large steel sheets welded together to create different rectangular forms that explode out of the bottom sheets that extend upwards. The bottom sheets are blue and green and extend vertically, with the yellow and orange rectangular forms at the top extending in all directions, similar to a firework or flower.
Epoch was commissioned by the DC Arts and Humanities as part of their “Art in Public Spaces” program in 2004. Paley designed the sculpture for the space, and chose its title because of DC’s power and prominence in the world. Adding to the city-focused elements, the sculpture is also inscribed with a poem by DC’s former Poet Laureate, Delores Kendrick. While the sculpture’s location was originally slated for Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, the Board of Trustees at the library opposed its placement, so its location was updated to be across the street.
This site is a stop on the Abstract Sculptures of DC tour.