Metro’s Bizarre 1970s Halloween Mockup

Here’s a weird image from the early archives of WMATA.  It depicts “Halloween In Washington” but clearly stretches the bounds of reality — and Metro’s rules.  Let’s face it… there’s no way a guy riding a giraffe could ever board a Metro train.

- click image for more -
Halloween In Washington as pictured in the book “For the Glory of Washington: A chronicle of events leading to the creation of a system-wide architectural concept for the design of the Washington Metro Stations, December 1965-November 1967” (1994)

We really don’t know much about this image.  It was included among dozens of unlabeled pages of early Metro plans in a 1994 book by Stanley Allan, the project manager for Metro’s architect (Harry Weese Associates).  It’s a great book and it’s been the source of several GoDC posts.  But it lacks any information about this particular picture.

We’re unable to date the sketch – except to note one person’s Lite Beer costume and the penguin-printed columns in the unnamed Metro station.  In other early drawings, potential advertising space in stations was marked with similar pattern graphics.  Wikipedia tells us that Lite Beer From Miller appeared in the mid-1970s.  And Metro opened its doors in 1976.  It’s a safe bet that this Halloween drawing was made before the transit system rolled its first train.

Have you ever seen this sketch?  Do you know anything more about its history or significance?  Please tell us in the comments.

About Aaron M.

Originally from Philadelphia, Aaron Myers has lived and worked in D.C. for most of the last 15 years. He's a graduate of George Washington University and a resident of the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronemyers.

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Notice the decked/tunneled section south of Fort Totten, then the over 90-degree turn to the east, then the decked/tunneled section between Galloway Street and Gallatin Street, with the Metrorail Glenmont Route (Red Line trains) following the North Central Freeway (I-95 south of Fort Totten and I-70S north of Fort Totten), and with the Metrorail Greenbelt Route (Green Line trains) following the Northeast Freeway (I-95 east of Fort Totten). The area between Galloway Street and Gallatin Street where the Northeast Freeway was proposed was mostly open fields then and still is now.

Drawings of Proposed I-95 Through D.C.

Here are some terrific old maps from 1971 showing the remainder of what would have …

  • It’s not just a “guy” riding a giraffe, it’s the god damn Batman and he can do whatever he wants!

  • Shannon

    Ummm…it’s not just a guy riding a giraffe. It’s Batman. Pretty sure if anyone could get one on a train, it’s him.

  • halfsmoke

    Nice to see sheriff Bart from Blazing Saddles in there

  • The walking can of Lite beer appears to be accompanied by a large naked man.

  • Matt

    This sketch is puzzling, because the subway train depicted is not actually a DC metro car, but it’s also not a pre-1000 series mockup – it’s much closer in resemblance to a 1983 Budd/Transit America UTV (the same kind used on the Baltimore Metro and Miami Metro). This would suggest to me that this was sketched post-1976, since those cars were not built until 1983, and were probably not even on the drawing board before WMATA had chosen their design. Why they didn’t use an actual DC Metro car is the strange part…

    Heres a UTV for reference: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/lYK_IkNTRNQ/maxresdefault.jpg