Deep Pockets and Devotion: DC Church Is on the Market for $5.9M

Traditionally, buyers are on the lookout for serene places to call home, dwellings where it's possible to find calm space away from the work-a-day world. Few places are more serene than a church, so it's likely this former church in Washington, DC, will attract deep-pocketed buyers in need of a calming influence.

Built in 1891 and used until very recently as a church, the structure is on the market for $5.9 million, says listing agent Emily Ehrens.

The former owners had plans drawn up to convert the building into six condominium units. Such offerings are sure to be in demand, given that the church sits in the Stanton Park section of the hot Capitol Hill area of D.C. The church is within walking distance of Union Station and its many shops. Its spire provides gorgeous views of the entire capital, says Ehrens. And its interior is in relatively good shape given that it has not been very long since it was last used by an active congregation.

The 6,757-square-foot structure was designed as a Presbyterian church by Appleton P. Clark Jr., a noted Washington architect at the turn of the 20th century. Clark designed numerous commercial and residential structures in the nation's capital.

The Gothic-style church is made with Potomac bluestone and limestone trim. The historic structure still sports its original stained-glass windows, one of which was restored by the current owners to show the potential the others possess, explains Ehrens.

Several denominations have called the building home over the decades. Most recently, it housed the Imani Temple, a group that had broken away from the Roman Catholic Church more than 20 years ago. Imani decided to follow its congregation to the suburbs and sold the building to the present owners.

The interior

"It could be a really cool single family," or it could be converted in condos, Ehrens notes. The building's exterior must be maintained as is because of its historic designation, but a new owner would be free to put his or her mark on the interior.

Finding comparables for such a unique piece of property is always a challenge. Ehrens looked at the build-out potential for the structure, taking into consideration its square footage, location, and other conversions in the area, including a nearby school that is now condominiums and townhouses, she explains.

"It's an awesome location, and it's beautiful," Ehrens says of the church. And when it becomes a home, it will likely embody the serenity of its heavenly backstory.