DCRA Finds The Wonder Bread Factory in Shaw to be “Structurally Unsafe”

Last week I wrote about the DC Preservation League’s 40th Anniversary Party to be held April 21st at the Wonder Bread factory located at 641 S St, NW. Because the building has been vacant for so long I wondered how it could possibly be cleaned up in time for an April 21st party. Well unless I’m reading the DCPL’s invitation incorrectly, it seems like there is no way they are going to be able to have this party in the Wonder Bread Factory. I submitted a FOIA request to DCRA to see if I could learn a bit more about the property and found some very interesting (and quite frankly sad) information.

On March 14th Inspector James Parman wrote:

The building at the address above is structurally unsafe. The building has rotten flooring members on both the first and second floor levels. The roof structure has collapsed in some areas. At least one support beam for the roof support system has rotted and failed. The sub flooring throughout the building has heaved up to a height of approximately 12”. The building did not have any working lighting system at time of inspection. Due to theses items listed this structure is a dangerous site to be working in and this is the reason that the building was posted.

The owner of the building needs to due the following before the building can be deemed safe to work in. The owner needs to have an Engineer make a site visit to the site. The Engineer needs to write a report concerning the structural condition of the building. The report needs to address what correction need to be made to made to site safe to work in. The engineer needs to write a safely plan on how and where work can be done inside the building.
The report needs to be submitted to DCRA for review. No one is to remove the posted signs in till approval from the code official is given. This typed report reflects the items that where part of the written report that was given to the owners Rep. at the site. James F. Parman 3/14/2011

Through the FOIA request I was also able to get some photos taken at the inspection of the property:

I can’t say I’m totally surprised at the condition inside but (to me and my untrained eye) it seems like this project is quickly approaching the point of no return. Since we have lots of engineers and architects reading this blog – what is the point of no return here? Can the building be saved? Is there any chance that DCPL will be able to host a party here in a month?

More brutal photos of the inside after the jump.

Recent Stories

Thanks to Claire for sending: “Stumbled across this mini xmas tree discard (lights and some ornaments attached) this morning on 10th St NW – pretty crazy as the holiday season…

Thanks to Chris and John for sending: “Sailing around the Aegean Sea from Athens to Crete hitting a variety of islands and finishing in Istanbul.” If you get a photo…

Photo by Lee M.. Ed. Note: If this was you, please email [email protected] so I can put you in touch with OP. “Dear PoPville, Super long shot, but figured why…

Your Afternoon Animal Fix

If you have any animal/pet photos you’d like to share please send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com with ‘Animal Fix’ in the title and say the name of your pet and…

At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!

At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.

If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit to learn more.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Vietnam Week Returns!

Mark your calendars for an exciting week-long celebration of Vietnamese culture and arts right here in DC. Vietnam Week is an annual tradition that brings our community together through a series of themed events, including film screenings, fine art exhibitions, mouthwatering cuisine, captivating live performances, and much more!

Vietnam Week aligns with the lunar celebration of Tet Trung Thu, the mid-autumn moon festival, a cherished tradition in Vietnam spanning 3,000 years. Join us in experiencing the enchanting customs and traditions of this cultural celebration!

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

DC 20’s & 30’s Singles Happy Hour

DC 20’s & 30’s Singles Happy Hour
You all asked, and were delivering! Our sold out September Singles Happy Hour was such a success, were throwing another! This time we are hosting at an even better venue, with a larger

Storytelling Night: Immigrants Celebrating Independence and Individuality

Independence permeates every step of the immigrant journey. It may have motivated the move or could be a result of it, but regardless, self-discovery is inextricably tied to the experience.

In this storytelling night, just days after Nigeria’s Independence Day,


Subscribe to our mailing list