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DC Preservation League Celebrating 40th Anniversary in the Wonder Bread Factory Building in Shaw

by Prince Of Petworth March 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm 29 Comments

Very cool! The DC Preservation League is celebrating its 40th anniversary April 21st:

40th Anniversary Celebration Ticket Order Form
Join the DC Preservation League as we celebrate 40 years of historic preservation in the District of Columbia at the historic Wonder Bread Factory.

April 21, 2011
6:30 PM Cocktails and Hors D’ Oeuvres
8:30 PM Dancing

Individual Tickets:
$150 – VIP Ticket (provides purchaser with access to section reserved for sponsors and special guests.)
$75 – General Admission Ticket

You can purchase tickets here.

The Wonderbread factory is located at 641 S St, NW. Back in April ’09 a reader took a peek inside. I wonder (no pun intended) how much they’ve cleaned it up? I also wonder if this indicates any movement in fixing up the building for sale or development.

Photo from nbardin303

Photo from nbardin303

  • Jen

    Wait are they playing us $150 to attend? I sure hope they don’t think people are going to pay that to sit in a building filled with chipping lead paint falling into their cocktails, rats running around the food, and bed bugs running up our pants legs.

    • Grammar Po-po

      You should really learn to punctuate. Your first “sentence” is atrocious and nearly unreadable. It really should be two, maybe three, sentences.

      • Another wanna be grammar teacher – Give the man a RED PEN

        • Grammar Po-po

          I would certainly hope you don’t need a grammar teacher to point out that fundamentally flawed ‘sentence’. I’m just pointing out what should be obvious.

          And how ironic that so many people here are trashing Erica’s grammar (the Danny Harris post) without even taking the slightest effort to correct their own. It’s plain old laziness, regardless of the forum or the source.

          • kl

            The comma after laziness is superfluous.

          • Grammar Po-po

            Optional. I never claimed to be perfect.

      • Anonymous

        no. the building should be fixed up.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if this event will allow Douglas to claim another year of blight exemption.

  • Anon

    I guess they have been preserving this building in the state it sat in since 1980. 31 years and counting of historical preservation of an eyesore. Congrats!

  • DR

    Perhaps they’ll move the drunks off the front steps to make way for guests. The Jemals certainly have a lot of chutzpah hosting an event at the Wonder Bread factory. Their neglect of the building for nearly a decade has been a thumb in the eye (and a kick in the groin) to Shaw residents. The crumbling building is so much more than just an eyesore; it presents a safety hazard and attracts rats, drug dealing and vagrants. The Jemals have sat on this property as Shaw has developed around it. (Even the O Street Market is going to get developed before the Wonder Bread factory.) The Jemals should be ashamed of themselves, and I would encourage people to boycott this event in protest.

    • So would prefer yet another prefabbed, generic looking, overpriced condo building in the area?

      • Anonymous

        As opposed to yet another vacant building in Shaw, yes. There are a dozen other shitty looking warehouses people can hang out at.

      • Anonymous


      • DR

        No. I would prefer that the Jemals actually redevelop the current structure, keeping the facade intact, or sell it to somebody else who will. I don’t particularly care what it is used for — condos, grocery store, movie theater, climbing center, office space — as long as: (i) Suzane Reitag doesn’t do the architectural work; and (ii) it doesn’t remain a crumbling, rusting, rat-infested, place for druggies to congregate.

      • Eric in Ledroit


        or, a thoughtful renovation, like the one at Parker Flats across the street from my rowhouse.

        but if the choice is 30+ years of decay vs. nice condos, i’ll take what’s behind door #2.

      • Anonymous

        The Jemals excel in demolition by neglect. They’d like the building to be condemned so they can put a new construction building there.

        • Anonymous

          you must be joking and probably don’t know the company’s history. look, there’s no joke that jamal is an ass, probably a criminal, develops properties far later than neighbors would like, uses brute tactics, and owes the city a shit ton of money.

          but he renovates some nice places. chop house. tons of buildings in chinatown. the peoples building. the woodies building, manhattan laundry, the atlantic building, the firehouse on mass ave, the cosi on capitol hill… the list goes on. his resume is very impressive and better than most developers in this town

          • ma

            you have facts on your statement? can it be used as a launching pad to help the city and the developer put it to good use?

    • Anonymous

      its funny, i place more blame on the drug dealers and vagrants than i do on the jamals.

      to each their own bias, i guess.

    • Anonymous

      i bet jamal has done more for this city than you.

      • Anonymous

        Like flying Barry first class to california on their dime? You’re correct. I have never flown Barry anywhere.

        • Anonymous

          look a little deeper.

      • DR

        The Jemals have actually done a huge amount of positive work for this city. (I am mostly willing to look past their bribing a DC city official — the official pled guilty to accepting bribes from the Jemals in 2004 — being delinquent on taxes owed the city, and falsifying loan documents by their own admission.) We owe them and Abe Pollin our gratitude for revitalizing Chinatown. My beef with the Jemals is specific to the Wonder Bread factory, a building they have left to decay and rot, and which has become an open, oozing sore in Shaw.

  • I always thought that this building would be a perfect candidate to be an artists’ space. It’s big enough, and obviously need some work, but otherwise wouldn’t need to be completely rehabbed. There’s a scene and demand for a thing in DC but the only one I know of it Gold Leaf Studios in Chinatown and all the spaces there are rented out.

    • nettie


    • Anonymous

      52 o street.
      mather studios
      a salon
      brookland has a ton of artists spaces coming down the pipe.
      jackson arts center
      albus cavas
      carriage house studios

      there are more. go to some openings and ask around. dc has a lot going on.

    • ma

      wanna help with that notion? i run goldleaf and would love to make that happen!!

  • d.

    I bet the Bike House co-op could put those old bike parts to some good use! I hope all that dosen’t go in the trash.

    • 14th St Heights

      I wonder if some of those bike parts belong to any of the three or four bikes I’ve had stolen over the years.


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