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National

Doomsday For The Dunes Of Plastic Balls: The End Comes For 'The Beach'

It took volunteers 25 hours to move 750,000 plastic balls from the National Building Museum's "Beach" installation to Dupont Underground, a creative arts institution in Washington, D.C.
It took volunteers 25 hours to move 750,000 plastic balls from the National Building Museum's "Beach" installation to Dupont Underground, a creative arts institution in Washington, D.C.

This summer at "The Beach" in Washington, D.C., there was no saltwater or sand.

"The Beach" was an art installation at the National Building Museum featuring an ocean of 750,000 translucent, plastic balls.

You could wade in or jump into this giant ball pit. And all summer long, people brought their kids and took selfies. It was a hit.

But sadly, summer's done, and so is "The Beach." The exhibit is now closed. But what happened to those plastic balls? They found new life in a different part of the city.

NPR followed their journey this week to Dupont Underground, an old trolley station that is being transformed into a creative arts institution. The balls will be a part of that transformation, "to do something on a grand scale," says Braulio Agnese, managing director for Dupont Undeground.

"To do something on a grand scale — 750,000 plastic balls — I think, this is a chance to create something really interesting that engages our space," he says.

Use the audio player above to hear the full story.

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