Can we just pause for a moment and appreciate the irony that we live in a country where “Time” magazine pretty much does an annual cover story called “God’s Not Dead, No Sirree!” and yet here we have a church that’s been converted to condos for young urban professionals. Of course, I suppose both statements could be true – God’s alive and well, He just moved. Would you like to live in His old house? If He forgets to update His address in His Amazon account and some of His packages come to the house, maybe you can ask for a favor when He drops by to pick them up. “Since I saved you the hassle of re-ordering this phone charger, maybe you could show your appreciation by giving me some proper facial hair instead of this terrible wispy crustache.”
It would be kind of cool to live in an old church, though. These buildings are built to last; this baby could get hit with a tornado and an earthquake simultaneously and wouldn’t even take a scratch. Formerly the Way of the Cross Church of Christ, the building was converted to condos after the church moved to Maryland. The condos – all 30 of them, 26 in the main church building and 4 in an adjoining rowhome – have retained original Gothic Revival architectural details. This unit is instantly recognizable as a former church space, with its huge arched paneled windows illuminating the main living area, and the weathered exposed brick; all I’d need is a drafty pew and my grandmother whispering in my ear, “if you take that Game Boy out of your pocket, I’m going to back my station wagon over it when the service is over,” and it’d be just like being back in church.
The main living area sports hardwood floors and high ceilings (of course) and some panels of original stained glass. (They brought in experts from Pennsylvania to restore them, which is pretty cool.) In keeping with the church motif, the kitchen is all white, with white marble countertops, as well as stainless steel appliances. At the open house, some middle-aged dad remarked, “Wow, this place is divine!” and then chuckled to himself as his family looked mortified. Further on, the bedrooms are roomy and get great light, and the master bath sports twin basins and a marble shower, for that “bathing in an Italian rock quarry” vibe. Another bath has a subway tile shower, which is pretty cool, although it might be kind of weird to be naked in a space that’s been made to look like a public transit station. (Unless you’re a pervert.)
If we’re going to be hardcore coveting this unit, we might as well also admire the penthouse unit, which is located in the bell tower. (Sadly, it’s under contract already.) Living in the converted bell tower of a fortresslike Presbyterian church is probably the closest thing you can get, in America, to living in an actual castle, so hats off to whoever ponied up for this unit. It has a truly massive stained-glass window, as well as sky-high ceilings and medieval-style chandeliers, not to mention the coolest roof deck in the city, up on those stone turrets. You could install a bunch of those coin-operated Empire State Building-style scenery telescopes up there and then retire and live on the income. (Imagine trying to explain that to someone in a bar when they asked what you do.)
819 D Street NE #19
3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths