As America’s sixth largest metropolitan area, Washington D.C. attracts a demographic more diverse than just politicians. Although there is a large political presence, Washington D.C. also provides a deep cultural and historical aspect that is prevalent in its streets, buildings, and atmosphere. In fact, many loft conversions in the D.C. area are considered historical landmarks, and includes former warehouses, factories, military land, and schools.
One such conversion is the Foundry Lofts. Recycled from a historic Navy Yard industrial building, the Foundry Lofts offer 170 loft-style apartments, including 33 two-level units. They are located in a highly coveted neighborhood known as the Yards, convenient to metro entrances, restaurants and other retail. Most units feature hardwood floors, exposed brick and concrete, industrial light fixtures, 14-foot ceilings, expansive industrial windows, and communal spaces including a lounge, fitness center, and a courtyard.
There is also a surplus of closed schoolhouses in Washington D.C. Many of these buildings are vacant or considered condemned due to heavy deterioration. However, over 25 schools have been converted into living units or other usable spaces such as community centers.
Built in 1885, the Wormley School, was a school for African American children until it closed in 1952. Georgetown University purchased the school in 1998, where it sat vacant until 7 years later when it was sold to a developer. There are 13 unique condos at what is now known as the Wormley Row Condos. It features the original brick facade, while the interior consists of luxury modern furnishings including recessed lighting, high ceilings, custom cabinetry, and an underground parking garage.
Other notable schoolhouse-to-loft conversions include the Edmonds School, originally built in 1903, with 24 units on a street of other historic row houses. Another is the Berret School Lofts, named after the James G. Berret School, which was built in 1889 and previously used as a methadone clinic and homeless shelter. These former classrooms, with their classic architecture and upgraded modern conveniences, have become highly coveted real estate for homebuyers.
In neighboring Alexandria, VA, a factory originally built in 1847 has been given new life as a loft conversion. It has been home to the Mount Vernon Cotton Factory, the Robert Portner Brewing Company, storage for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Express Spark Plug Company of America, and headquarters for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The Mill now offers 1-2 bedroom apartments with modern upgrades in an impressively preserved industrial property.
As home to America’s politics and government, many historical buildings in Washington D.C. have at one time housed famous tenants. 2029 Connecticut, built in 1916 before undergoing major renovations offers only 26 units and was once home to President William Howard Taft. Down the street is 2101 Connecticut, built in 1928, which offers some of the largest units, including a 4-bedroom condo.