Real Estate

Look Inside the Transformation of this 1800s Capitol Hill Church

Look Inside the Transformation of this 1800s Capitol Hill Church
The former Way of the Cross Church of Christ at 9th and D streets, NE. Photos by Marisa M. Kashino.

The old Way of the Cross Church of Christ on Capitol Hill has been under construction for about a year. The Rubin Group led a development team that bought the 119-year-old building from the Pentecostal church when its congregants sought a location with more space for parking in Prince George’s County. The project, called The Sanctuary, is not the only church-conversion underway in the District: A vacant church at 13th and H streets, NE, for instance, is slated to become nine condos, and the Rubin Group is actually working on a second one in Southeast DC. But opportunities to repurpose a church with such historic architecture don’t come around often.

Anyone who’s meandered the streets around Stanton Park is surely familiar with the dramatic building occupying the corner of 9th and D streets, NE, with a bell tower that dwarfs the surrounding rowhouses. Bonstra Haresign architects was tapped to help transform it into 3o condos, including townhouse-style units in two adjoining 19th century houses that the church used as office space. The church itself has been divided into units ranging from small one-bedrooms in the $300,000s, to a massive penthouse that will list for $1.7 million. Original brick, woodwork, stained-glass windows, chandeliers, and even pews are getting incorporated into the modern design.

Andrew Rubin, principal of the Rubin Group, gave us a sneak peak inside the construction zone. Several of the units have already pre-sold; Rubin expects the building will be ready for occupants come fall.


Looking down from the “catwalk” onto the living room of what will be the most expensive unit, priced at $1.7 million.
bell tower
In addition to the dramatic cathedral window, the priciest unit also gets the church’s bell tower, which will eventually get outfitted with stairs and a lofted area.
A rendering of what the $1.7 million penthouse will look like when it’s done. One of the church’s original chandeliers will hang in the living room. Renderings courtesy of The Rubin Group.
Another rendering of the penthouse’s living room.
three windows
The living room of a one-bedroom, second-floor unit, with restored original windows.
A rendering of what the same unit will look like once it’s finished.
barrel ceiling
A top-floor condo with a nearly wall-sized, original cathedral window, and barrel ceilings.
unit entrance
The entrance to a second-floor condo, with original brick and arched doorway.
Though a new elevator has been installed in the former church, the original stairs will remain a focal point of the building.
Some of the old church pews will get placed in communal areas, others will actually go inside units. This one is waiting to be relocated.
Rendering of a finished bathroom, which will come with oversized subway tile in the shower, and marble floors and counters.

Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 and was a senior editor until 2022.