Amazing grace: Renovation turns a church into elegant condos

The windows became The Sanctuary’s chief sales edge.

November 29, 2017 |
The 2,300-sf penthouse in The Sanctuary

The 2,300-sf penthouse in The Sanctuary sold for $1.5 million. The owner has exclusive access to an 85-foot-tall bell tower, the highest private view in D.C.

The Sanctuary, a 30-unit condo conversion in Southeast Washington, D.C., may be a sign of things to come for some of the 850 or so places of worship in the Nation’s Capital that are closing their doors. Such was the case for the Way of the Cross church. When its congregation decided to relocate to the suburbs, The Rubin Group (in partnership with Regua) snapped up the 1898 Gothic Revival church and 1914 annex.

The project team, led by local design firm Bonstra| Haresign Architects, wanted to change some lites in the stained glass windows so that residents could look out. This did not sit well with the city’s Historic Preservation Review Board. Only after seeing a mockup prepared by consultant Cumberland Stained Glass did the Review Board agree to the change. The transparent replacement glass has a stippled effect on the exterior that met the HPRB’s approval.

The windows became The Sanctuary’s chief sales edge. All 30 units, including the $1.5 million penthouse, sold in less than eight months. 

 

85-foot-tall bell tower, the highest private view in D.C.© Eric Taylor Photography.

 

Project Summary

 

Bronze Award Winner

Building Team: Bonstra|Haresign Architects (submitting firm, architect) Structura (SE) VIKA Capitol (CE) Capitol Engineering Group (ME) Cumberland Stained Glass (glazing) Potomac Construction Group (GC).

Details: 34,693 sf Total cost: $15.4 million Construction time August 2014 to December 2016 Delivery method Negotiated contract.

 

See all of the 2017 Reconstruction Award winners here

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