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Department of Buildings

In observance of the Emancipation Day holiday, DOB will be closed on Tuesday, April 16, 2024; no construction will be allowed on this day without an after-hours permit. You may report illegal construction by submitting an Illegal Construction Inspection Request Form during normal business hours or by calling 311.

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Vacant-to-Visual Program

 

 

In the summer of 2022, the predecessory agency to the DC Department of Buildings launched a pilot initiative called the Vacant-to-Visual Program. The goal of the program has been to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods across the District of Columbia by transforming vacant properties into artistic sites within the community, thereby reducing eyesores until properties can be returned to productive use. Aligning the goals of bringing vacant properties back to use and democratizing art was a key reason that DOB began this program.

Reimagining Empty Space

Through the Vacant-to-Visual Program, local and regional artists of color transform vacant and blighted buildings into artwork. Original art and vibrant colored designs are used to beautify each property, with the goal to attract investment into neighborhoods, improve visual environments, and make buildings safer. Residents are encouraged to use the murals as inspiration to bring more color and liveliness to their own properties, thereby enriching the unique flavor of their neighborhood and beautifying the District of Columbia.

 

Vacant-to-Visual 2023 Expansion

In March 2023, DOB announced an expansion of the program by adding new local artists, an anticipated additional eight properties included in the program, and inclusion of minted non-fungible tokens (NFT) made available for purchase through the Citykey platform, which allows customers to economically support the artists by purchasing digital copies of the same art that is being used on new participating vacant buildings.

 

Purchase NFTs To Support Local Artists

The NFTs will be made available for sale here beginning on April 4, 2023, with proceeds going to benefit the artists. The minting of the NFTs is made possible through a public-private partnership between DOB, the Arena Social Arts Club, and DMA United.

 

 

To learn more about DOB’s vacant property classification process, please visit our Vacant Buildings page.

If you are a property owner and are interested in potentially participating in the Vacant-to-Visual Program, please contact Donald Sullivan at [email protected] and Jill Byrd at [email protected].