The current underpass or “viaduct” at Georgia Avenue and Blair Mill Road was built in 1928 in response to the explosion of cars, trains and pedestrians passing through the intersection during a period of rapid expansion for Silver Spring and other DC suburbs. A wise move, in hindsight, as over 60,000 vehicles now pass through the site each day.
For the critical role it played in the development of the community, lead artist Byron Peck selected “transportation” as the overarching theme for the artwork, and “art deco” as a motif, in honor of the period of design and construction of the underpass itself.
The 12 youth selected for the first phase of the project (the wings of the pedestrian passageways) began work on the project during the first week in January, 2006. Artist Carien Quiroga and twelve additional apprentices joined the project in March, for a total of twenty four apprentices from five Montgomery County, MD high schools. LaToya Middleton was the special assistant to the lead artists.