What Was 1980s Metro Construction Like on Wisconsin Avenue?

Construction continues at the Friendship Heights Metro station before its opening on August 25, 1984. (WMATA/Phil Portlock)

Do you remember living in Washington during the 1970s? How about when the Metro was being built up along Wisconsin Avenue?

We dug up this great old article in the Washington Post from January 26th, 1978.

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Friendship Heights and Tenleytown Metro stations
Friendship Heights and Tenleytown Metro stations

Here is a terrific old photo of the Friendship Heights station under construction.

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Construction continues at the Friendship Heights Metro station before its opening on August 25, 1984. (WMATA/Phil Portlock)
Construction continues at the Friendship Heights Metro station before its opening on August 25, 1984. (WMATA/Phil Portlock)

Below is a long excerpt from the piece.

Construction will begin within the next two weeks on two Wisconsin Avenue Metro subway stations, at Tenley Circle and Friendship Heights, which will provide 14-minute rides to downtown Washington when the subway line to Rockville and Shady Grove opens in 1982.

The underground stations, to be blasted out of solid rock more than 100 feet beneath Wisconsin Avenue, will take three years to build…

While construction will continue 24 hours a day on the stations, blasting is permitted only between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m Mondays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.

Access to all businesses and homes will be maintained during construction although a few parking spaces, primarily along Wisconsin and Western avenues, will be eliminated, Metro officials say.

The stations are expected to be used by 25,000 to 28,000 riders daily by 1990, according to Metro estimates.

The Tenley Circle station will have entrances on either side of Wisconsin Avenue, with escalators carrying passengers down to a mezzanine just above the subway platforms. An elevator entrance is to be built north of Albemarle Street on the east side of Wisconsin.

Here’s a great diagram from the article.

Metro construction on Wisconsin Ave. in 1978
Metro construction on Wisconsin Ave. in 1978

If you remember the days of Metro construction on Wisconsin Ave., let us know what it was like by adding your comments below.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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Drawings of Proposed I-95 Through D.C.

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

  • EB.

    Anyone know how actual ridership in 1990 compares with “The stations are expected to be used by 25,000 to 28,000 riders daily by 1990, according to Metro estimates”?