Hidden behind a row of lesser known retail shops on the 4600 block of 14th Street is a large tribute to some of Washington DC's less celebrated icons. The 14th Street Graffiti Museum, collaboration between Eddy Harris, Cory Stowers, and Uptown Main Street, replaces a large trash storage area behind the retail strip with a set of murals by various artists dedicated to some of DC's earliest "taggers." The centerpiece is, of course, Cool "Disco" Dan (Danny Hogg), who in the '80's and '90's wrote his name on nearly every surface that wasn't moving (and some that were). Hogg passed away in 2017 and Harris, whose base is just one block north, wanted to use his infamy to bring an attraction to the block in the wake of the closure of the 14th Street bus barn across the street.
The centerpiece, at least to this writer, is the walk-in cooler that appears as a Metro car (with graffiti, of course). Harris notes that Disco Dan was "everywhere, I mean literally everywhere" spray painting his moniker. Harris and Stowers wanted to also showcase the other "OG writers" - original writers - like Mesk, whose likeness adorns the back wall, and Lisa of the World, who was more inclined to add graffiti to buses and bus stops. The exhibit is currently open only occasionally, but the artists are working with the building owners on an agreement to keep the space open to the public on a more regular basis, while being mindful of the retailers that operate there. More painting will be added in the future, as well as placards with a QR code directing visitors toward each of the artists who contributed to the murals. Mickey Mouse, which would seem out of place, is a reference to a Chuck Brown song since go-go music is an underlying theme. Eddy promises more murals to come on the 4700 block of 14th Street as well as on Kennedy Street. The exhibit will remain unless and until the block is ever redeveloped.
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