The NoMa Parks Foundation has begun to the turn the lights on in the M Street NE underpass. The first rods of "Rain," the public art installation selected to illuminate and activate the space in 2015, are up and glowing on the south side of the street.
Installation began in January above the south sidewalk in the underpass and appeared nearly complete at the end of last week. NoMa will begin installation above the north sidewalk once it finishes the south side, with a ribbon cutting expected in the coming months.
A long time coming
It is exciting to finally see Rain lighting up M Street. A series of issues, many unforeseen at the outset, pushed installation back for what was to be the NoMa Business Improvement District's first public space with the $50 million it received from the District government in 2014.
"We've had, really, one stumble and that's this M Street underpass," said NoMa BID president Robin-Eve Jasper at an April 2017 community meeting.
Rain is now in the running with Swampoodle Park to be NoMa's first new public space. Both are under construction, along with installation of "Lightweave" in the L Street NE underpass, and all are expected to be completed soon.