Real Estate

You’ll Never Believe Some of the Factories That Used to Be in DC—and What’s There Now

Made in DC 2019

About Made in DC 2019

This article is a part of Washingtonian’s Made in DC feature. Local artisans are creating bourbon and beauty products, handbags and hot sauce, clothing and jewelry. We found the coolest things being made here right now.

What old factories house today says everything about Washington’s transformation.

770–774 Girard St., NW

Then: A 20th-century helicopter factory—one of the world’s earliest.

Now: Industrial-luxe condos in Columbia Heights, one of which sold in 2017 for $2.3 million.

105 N. Union St., Alexandria

Then: A circa-1918 US Navy torpedo factory.

Now: A circa-1974 arts center and studio space in Old Town.

641 S St., NW

Then: A Wonder Bread and Hostess Cake factory, from the early 1900s to the 1980s.

Now: Luxury loft-style offices in Shaw for WeWork and others.

1401 Okie St., NE

Then: The Pappas tomato factory—officially, Pete Pappas & Sons—a 1940s packing plant that relocated to Maryland.

Now: A hip Ivy City complex that holds a Michelin-starred restaurant (Gravitas) and an ax-throwing bar.

327 S St., NE

Then: A Nabisco baking factory.

Now: The Sun Room, an event space in Eckington by the retailer Salt & Sundry.

Factory photographs by Getty Images, courtesy of Library Of Congress and of companies.

This article appears in the December 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Assistant Editor

Hayley is an Associate Editor at Washingtonian Weddings. Previously she was the the Style Editor at The Local Palate, a Southern food culture magazine based out of Charleston, South Carolina. You can follow her on instagram @wandertaste.