WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- D.C. leaders unveiled a new look for the District's Golden Triangle neighborhood Wednesday afternoon. A couple of parks in that area along Pennsylvania Avenue, NW near the White House now feature new art installations.
In James Monroe Park - at Pennsylvania Avenue and "Eye" Street Northwest - the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District and the National Park Service celebrated the unveiling of the Tricorn. It is a stainless steel fountain that transforms into a glowing, colorful light installation at night.
Artist Duilio Passariello said, "The Tricorn was the hat worn by James Monroe. Because it has three sides, we adopted that name."
Passariello said he is an Italian citizen, born in Venezuela, but he now lives in D.C.
While his work can be found around the world, he said this is his first installation in the United States.
"I'm very proud I'm in my hometown finally," he said.
A couple blocks away, at Edward R. Murrow Park, the artist has also installed new lighting. A digital recording of Murrow's voice in radio reports changes the intensity of the bulbs.
"You don't hear it. You just see it," he said.
The D.C. Commission on Arts & Humanities and The Golden Triangle BID split the $256,000 cost of these projects, selected after a national call to artists.
"It creates a sense of place and it makes our city a world class capital," said Lisa Richards Toney, interim director of the arts commission. "If we can get people to stay a little bit longer, having a place that's inviting and where you want to be is very important to making that happen."
Organizers said Wednesday's unveiling event was just part of a long-term, comprehensive vision for a new Pennsylvania Avenue from 17th Street, NW all the way to Washington Circle.
With wider sidewalks, improved park space, even WIFI in areas, they hope to make it a destination neighborhood that's more livable and walkable.
Golden Triangle BID Executive Director Leona Agouridis said, "It's a street that has really changed since the closure of the area of the street in front of the White House."
At lunchtime, the area is buzzing, but it becomes a ghost town at night. Golden Triangle leaders hope a splash of color and light will give this end of America's Main Street new life.