Clark Mills Foundry

Metro is working with the DC Historic Preservation Review Board to ensure the site, once home to the Mills Foundry, is properly reviewed and recognized. In the 1860’s, self-taught sculpture Clark Mills cast Thomas Crawford’s famed Statue of Freedom at the Bladensburg site. The statue was completed and placed atop the U.S. Capitol Dome on December 2, 1863. Fittingly, Phillip Reed, an enslaved laborer who oversaw the forging process, was able to celebrate the freedom the statue represented as a result of the Emancipation Act of 1862.

A survey of the property is being conducted to determine if the foundation for the Mills Foundry remains within the boundaries of the Bladensburg Bus Garage property. The photograph below outlines the area of interest and where the remains of the Mills Foundry are potentially located. 

Over the next several years, historical records indicate that the site was used for a variety of industries including The Standard Butterine Company, Corby Baking Company, and Fleishman Company.

1951 Bladensburg Aerial Shot

1951 aerial photograph

Archeological Scope of Work 

Bladensburg aerial photograph from 1963
In 1962, nearly a century after Clark Mills developed the property, Metro constructed Building 1 of the Bladensburg Bus Division, as seen in the above aerial photograph from 1963.
1989 Bladensburg
Since then, the building has experienced several modifications. In 1989, a new overhead crane was installed and part of the first floor and service pits were removed.
2004 Bladensburg
As seen in the photo above, the heater and ventilation hoods along the west side of Building 1 were added in 1992 to allow for the addition of a paint room. In 2004, further alterations were made to allow for the maintenance of compressed natural gas buses.