Two Adjacent Projects Create a New Center of Gravity in Shaw

The Wonder Bread Factory project, designed by R2L: Architects, preserves the brick outer walls of the old Wonder Bread factory building at 641 S Street, NW, while completely rebuilding the interior to create a project with 98,000 square feet of retail and office space on four levels plus a basement.

The building, whose oldest section dated to about 1913, was originally built for Dorsch’s White Cross Bakery, which is why the façade incorporates white crosses. The facility was bought in 1936 by Wonder Bread, which continued to operate it as a bakery for Wonder Bread and Hostess Cake products until the late 1980s. The property remained vacant for the next two decades, during which time the interior of the building decayed.

The design for the renovation increased the building’s height to four floors. The fourth floor is set well back from the building’s front on T Street, NW, preserving the appearance of the historic façade when viewed from the street. On the building’s long (Wiltberger Street) side, the newly added levels employ setbacks to break up the building’s mass and coordinate with reference lines established by the historic side wall.

Recalling the building’s industrial past, the added volume is sheathed in corrugated metal panels reminiscent of shipping containers. The panels are painted in orange and green tones that complement the darker brick of the building’s historic outer walls, and are punctuated by large aluminum-framed windows. The newly built interiors offer loft-like spaces with open plans. The ground floor and basement level are being offered for retail use; the top three levels are intended as Class A office space.

In combination with the Howard Theatre, Progression Place and the Wonder Bread Factory create a block with a mix of residential, cultural, retail, and office spaces intended to further strengthen Shaw as a live-work-play neighborhood. At the same time, in combination with nearby projects such as the Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Public Library and numerous modern residential buildings by Suzane Reatig Architecture (see, for example, the Summer 2013 issue of ARCHITECTUREDC), Progression Place and the Wonder Bread Factory are helping to shift the Shaw neighborhood from an area dominated by brick buildings to one that is more of a mix of masonry, metal paneling, and glass. The emerging result is a more varied built environment that displays layers of history rather than a single historical moment.

“What makes McCullough Construction special is that they hold themselves to very high standards in everything that they undertake. They pay very close attention to detail during all phases of a project — and this includes pre-construction planning and post-construction punch-out. Aside from the actual physical construction, the individuals there have the highest level of honesty and integrity. We look forward to working with McCullough on many projects in the future.”

- Chris Donatelli, Donatelli Development

“McCullough Construction, LLC has performed several major renovations for our firm over the past eight years. The majority of these projects included a complete replacement of building mechanical and electrical systems. Their work has been superior, completed within the project schedule and within budget. We would not hesitate to have McCullough Construction work on any future projects and would highly recommend them.”

– Richard S. Cohen, Willco Companies

“McCullough played a key role in transforming a vacant lot into a distinctive Class A Office and Retail project in the heart of historic Annapolis, MD. They successfully addressed the many challenges of the project site and thrived in the urban environment. The City of Annapolis Mayor’s office called several times during the project’s construction to applaud McCullough efforts in minimizing any interference with the public and adjacent businesses. Tom McCullough’s personal involvement from pre-construction through closeout added confidence to the entire project team.”

- Craig Pittinger, Siena Corporation

“McCullough Construction, LLC recently completed a major renovation of our hotel in Washington, DC. The work took place in a fully operational hotel and included the renovation of structural, mechanical and plumbing systems. This project was a “fast track” project and McCullough Construction’s work was on time and under budget.”

- Perry Parker, Red Roof Inn

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Mccullough Residential, L.L.C.
McCullough Residential, L.L.C., located in Washington, D.C. is a developer and builder of luxury single family homes in the D.C. area.

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