Abstract Sculptures of DC: Grove of Columns

The five sculptures sit right next to the Metro Center subway entrance.

The Metro Center subway station has quite the entrance, as Richard Hunt’s Grove of Columns adorns the front of the Williams Building located right next to it. The five columns vary in height from 9 to 20 feet tall, with each column hosting large bronze forms on top. The central column, titled Swan Column, is shorter than the others, but has a bird-like form on top with a functioning fountain below. The four abstract bronze forms on the surrounding columns do not have a specific animal or human shape to them, but appear to have the feeling of the natural elements - water, earth, wind, and fire. These four are titled Growth Columns, and do seem to grow atop their bronze pedestals.

Hunt worked with the owners of the Williams Building, Collin Equities, to create the sculptures within the plaza, offering a greater sense of collaboration that would highlight the columns’ presence. As James Goode writes, “The work celebrates urbanism and the rebirth and rebuilding of the heart of the city.” The columns are also located near Hunt’s other sculpture within the plaza, Build-Grow, also commissioned by Collin Equities in 1992. Hunt was selected as the project’s sculptor in 1990, and participated greatly in the development process.

This site is a stop on the Abstract Sculptures of DC tour.



11th and G St NW, 20004