Washington’s latest church-to-condo conversion may be the city’s most awe-inspiring to date. The Sanctuary, located at 819 D Street, NE in the Stanton Park neighborhood of prestigious Capitol Hill, offers 30 distinctive homes carefully designed and built within the stately red brick walls of a 19th-century Gothic Revival church. The building’s meticulous restoration produces incredible spaces with soaring ceilings, monumental windows, and residences that will not be replicated.
The Rubin Group is leading the development team now nearing completion of an 18-month restoration and transformation effort that includes thoughtful preservation of many century-old features, with its partner Regua. Bonstra Haresign Architects is the architect for the renovations; Potomac Construction Group is the general contractor.
The hallmark of this effort is the careful hand restoration of the beautiful stained and leaded glass windows, the building’s defining feature. Pennsylvania craftsmen worked thousands of hours artfully restoring every single stained glass panel to its original splendor.
After five decades on Capitol Hill, The Way of the Cross Church of Christ decided to build a larger campus in Capitol Heights, MD. In order to finance its expansion, the church selected the development team as its partner to restore and transform the building.
The church at 9th and D Streets, NE was built in 1897 by The Disciples of Christ and called The Ninth Street Christian Church. Its Gothic Revival style was popular with Protestant churches of that era. In 1915, the church added a large fellowship hall in the same style, and later acquired two adjoining townhouses.
The Sanctuary offers 30 unique homes, 26 of which are in the original church building, ranging in size from one-bedroom to two-bedroom units with dens. Interior finishes were carefully curated to complement the grandeur of the building’s exterior and pay homage to a bygone era. Exposed brick walls and cast-iron columns, towering church windows with restored original stained glass panels, and uncommonly high ceilings grace many of The Sanctuary’s residences. All residences are accessible by the elegant grand staircase or a brand-new elevator. Select units have rooftop decks with views of the Capitol dome.
The project also includes two adjacent renovated townhomes. Each has a terrace-level one-bedroom unit along with a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath unit with a private entrance, providing a living experience like that of a classic Capitol Hill row house.
“The Sanctuary provides a rare opportunity to live within easy walking distance of the US Capitol in an environment that evokes the neighborhood of over a century ago,” said Matt Dewey of Urban Pace. “This is an excellent example of thoughtful adaptive re-use of a beautiful church building in the heart of the Nation’s capital.”