Dear PoP – Graffiti on wonder bread factory in Shaw

by Prince Of Petworth April 12, 2010 at 9:33 pm 27 Comments

“Dear PoP,

New and massive tag on the wonder bread factory…big white letters on the side in addition to multiple tags on the roof. Guess it’ll be just a weeee bit longer til the shaw/howard metro gets the long overdue development…”

Damn this looks awful. Owners of the Wonderbread factory definitely deserve a horse’s ass award for keeping this property on ice for so long. The building is located on the 600 block of S Street, NW. A reader posted some photos from inside here.

  • Caro

    I noticed that the other day and was sad. From the sidewalk, it looked like the letters have to be over 15′ tall in places. It made me wonder how they could even have been spray-painted on there (ladders? rappelling off the roof? giants?).

  • call doug jemal. express your concerns directly to him, i’ll bet you get some traction. tell him you’re publicly shaming him on a website that gets however many eyeballs a day.

  • Anonymous

    Once again, if these pissants who can figure out how to paint 15′ high graffiti on the side of a building without getting caught or killing themselves put half as much effort into anything worthwhile DC could be a pretty decent place.

    But no, a huge portion of the population will continue spinning their wheels, blaming “the man” for everything, avoiding any and all opportunities to look inside themselves for a better life.

    It’s sad, really.

  • dmf

    i’ll admit, i enjoy artful tagging, here and there. but yeah, this is horrid garbage. and at my stop!

    also, i love that building.

  • NLM

    Does anyone know what the plans are, if there are any, for the building/grass area?

  • The Rickster

    It makes me so mad that pricks like Doug Jemal allow properties like this to sit vacant for so long. Not quite as bad as those Shiloh nutjobs, but close. It would serve him right if it simply fell in on itself someday. The way it’s been neglected, it probably will.

    • Anonymous

      Nope, he’s worse. His MO is to be the first to buy and last to develop. Somehow he still gets credit for helping to renew the city

  • Anonymous

    Good luck getting DCRA to even notice any of his properties. I’ve reported several around North Cap & P, but to no avail. Not even a response after several e-mails, faxes, etc.

    It would be nice to see the city looking out for itself and its residents once in a while rather than developers trying to make a free buck.

  • These letters were painted from the ground. Get a dry powder chemical fire extinguisher, load it up with your perferred paint, and re-pressurize it. Get it right, and you can easily reach 25-30 feet.

    • bobbyhugeframe

      I find it hard to believe that the kids who did this are sophisticated enough to re-pressurize a fire extinguisher.

      • I learned how to do it in 7th grade shop class. Kids are smarter than you know..

    • AP

      Who does that?! Don’t people have anything better to do?! I mean, when I was growing up, we went to the movies, went 4-wheeling, had field parties, and drank in the woods. We were definitely not smart enough to turn a fire extinguisher into a giant high-powered spray can!

      • P’worth

        @AP: um… do you expect DC kids to go 4-wheeling, have field parties and drink in the woods?

        Anyway, I do like some street art — the tags on the roof look nice, but this is just childish bullshit. That Che character has scrawled his name anywhere he can find on this city…

  • slumlord
  • DR

    Its shameful that this property has been neglected for so long. As a long-time Shaw resident, it makes my blood boil to know that Doug Jemal has sat on this property for YEARS without any effort to renovate it or sell it to another developer. Shame on you Mr. Jemal!

  • Given the amazing bones of this building (people will def. pay a premium to live in a rehabbed brick factory with great light) and the proximity to downtown and in particular the metro, there is simply no reason it can not be profitably redeveloped. Crazy. Graffiti like this is another annoying issue which will continue until the city makes graffiti an unattractive option via punitive measures and enforcement. Sadly, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

  • A Black Person in Ledroit Park

    We don’t want said development. I don’t know why you seem to think we do?

    • Rick

      Who’s “we”?

    • Just curious, but why?

  • Marklar

    re: “we don’t want …”
    Shouldn’t that be “I don’t want” ?

    Anything that can be done to fix an eyesore and raise the tax base to provide more police, better schools etc.. is in everybody’s best interest! I certainly want this development!

  • Anonymous

    Marklar- See his name, “A Black Person in Ledroit Park” thinks he speaks for all black people.

    I think this is the root of the us against them mentality here in DC. I moved into a primarily African American neighborhood because I want to, and believe I can, co exist with people of any race. I don’t believe I or anyone else is color blind, but frankly I care a lot more about whether a person is contributing positively to society, taking care of his/her own business, family, etc., than I care about the color of their skin.

    But you see, folks like “A Black Person in Ledroit Park” only see color, they only see them against us. They are the folks described earlier, “spinning their wheels, blaming “the man” for everything, avoiding any and all opportunities to look inside themselves for a better life.” They are the folks who figure out how the heck to paint 20′ high graffiti, even if they cannot figure out how to provide for their family without government assistance.

  • Shawn

    Damn this place really should have been developed a long time ago. The posts in this thread really highlighted how crappy Doug Jemal has actually been for the city. His “first to buy, last to develop” mantra is quite obvious.

  • ReneeB

    Is this the same guy that is sitting on the newly renovated buildings on the northeast corner of 14th and U?

  • ontarioroader

    Jemal is untouchable. Federal bribery indictments/acquittal:


    tip of the iceberg.

  • DCster

    I wonder what the city could do to put pressure on developers like this, to force them to take more of an interest in their abandoned properties. I suppose they could refuse to provide any concessions for properties that went undeveloped for 10+ years. It seems, though, that developers always end up getting hefty government subsidies before they start work (like for DC USA, Gallery Place/Chinatown). Considering the state of the DC budget and tight credit markets, it doesn’t seem like much will happen here in the near future.

  • Tax the heck out of them. I feel like the abandoned / vacant property tax rates are rarely applied …


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