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.