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Where Are the Best Murals in Washington DC?


Murals are an unexpected celebration of beauty, life and culture, often turning up on an otherwise drab cityscape.  Not surprisingly DC is full of these hidden treasures.  Here are some of the best of the pack:

Duke Ellington Mural - 1200 U Street NW

This mural is of the Duke himself and adorns the True Reformer Building in the U Street/Shaw neighborhood. G. Byron Peck and a group of nine students completed the mural in 1997 with Keim paint and using the concrete panels as canvas to make the colors pop.  

Air Shaft Mural - 3rd and H Streets NW

This mind-bending mural of the Capitol Dome provides a different perspective as it covers a large concrete air shaft, giving the illusion of being to see through the black and white images of the Capitol Dome.  The mural was created in 1998 by Val Lewton and uses exterior acrylic house paint to achieve the effect of peering through the concrete.

The Mourning Rose 9-11 Mural - Arlington, Virginia

Inspired by the tragic events of 9-11, this mural is a haunting choice created by artist, Thomas P. Mullany.  It consists of a single red rose against a blue sky  painted on a brick surface on the side of a building in the Clarendon neighborhood. It's both beautiful and sad. For art lovers, this is certainly a "must see."  

Mural at Ben's Chili Bowl - 1213 U Street NW

Ben's Chili Bowl on the U Street Corridor is one of the culinary landmarks of the area and has an iconic mural as well. It's one of the newest in the city and was created by Aniekan Udofia in 2012. This mural provides a celebration of the longtime patrons of the restaurant, such as Barak Obama, Bill Cosby, Chuck Brown and many others.

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