Thursday, August 24, 2006

'Hopscotch Kids' Mosaic . H Street Bridge, NE WDC

Designed by Deirdre Saunder, in collaboration with Peter Tabri, and constructed with the help of DC youth in 1997, the "Hopscotch Bridge" which represents two panels of mosaic tile positioned on either side of the H Street Bridge served as a gateway to the Capital Children’s Museum and Northeast DC. Originally the panels consited of 320 colorful mosaic kids leaping across the bridge. However, when the parking lot of Union Station was renovated some of the panels were removed. The Capitol Childrens Museum would close in August 2004 and the historic landmark is currently under redevelopment by ABDO as the future site of the luxourious loft apartments complex, Senate Square. Scheduled for reopening at a new location, in 2009, the Capitol Children's Museum, since August 2004, has been renamed as the National Children's Museum.

A quick search on the internet reveals that Montgomery County artist Deirde Saunder has designed and created many mosaics and public art installations throughout the Washington DC area. Some of which are:

1. Swallows and Stars, located at Glenmont station on the Red Line in Montgomery County, MD.
2. Gaea’s Corner, located at Croydon Creek Nature Center, 852 Avery Road, in Potomac MD.
3. Spring Creek fountain in Silver Plaza, located in Downtown Silver Spring, MD.
4. The Spirit of Rockville Takes Flight, Town Center Artwork Project 6-Facade Treatment at Hungerford Drive Parking Garage.

Originally, H Street ran under the railroad tracks, including a trolley service. The current "bridge" wasn't built until 1962, as part of the Federal Highways' planned inner beltway system for the District.

Deirde Saunder is currently an instructor at The Art League School.

Having conducted a telephone interview with Deirde Saunder on Friday morning, 25 August 2006, pertaining to the history of the 'Hopscotch Bridge' mosaic, I will post an updated entry to this blog later today or tomorrow with important information regarding how it came to be.

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