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Conversion home: Capitol Hill condos in a former church

Adaptive reuse is one of the mantras of sustainability. At the Residences at St. Monica's on Capitol Hill, Community Three has taken the unusual step of adapting a former church into a distinctive boutique condominium cluster with nine homes.

On Jan. 1, 1909, the sanctuary building, now converted for residential use, was consecrated by the Episcopal bishop of Washington and named the Chapel of the Nativity. Over the next 100 years, the congregation worshipping at this location added an Annunciation Chapel and a parish hall, then eventually outgrew the space and moved its services to Maryland.

In 2009, the congregations of St. Monica's and St. James merged. The St. Monica's location was deconsecrated by the bishop of Washington, John Bryson Crane, on June 10, 2009, paving the way for a new use for this prime Capitol Hill location.

Community Three, committed to maintaining the integrity of the property, reused original heavy timber and solid masonry walls, floors and roofs and restored and protected the original 100-year-old stained-glass windows. Each distinctive condominium has a private, professionally landscaped yard as well as access to the adjacent St. Monica's Park. One block away is Lincoln Park, a Capitol Hill landmark with extensive green space and a constant stream of walkers, joggers, dogs and children.

A five-minute walk takes residents to Congressional Cemetery on the west bank of the Anacostia River, which has thousands of historic grave sites and also dogs to romp off-leash on the grounds. Ten minutes from St. Monica's is Eastern Market, a beloved farmers and open-air market with summertime weekend concerts. The Eastern Market Metro station, Folger Shakespeare Library, Barracks Row shops and restaurants, and dozens of Capitol Hill shops and restaurants are all within walking distance.

A 15-minute walk takes residents to Union Station for shops, restaurants, Metro and train access, or, in the other direction, to the museums, monuments and official Washington buildings along the Mall.

The condominiums at the Residences at St. Monica's, at 1340 Massachusetts Ave. SE, are priced from $399,900 to $1,200,000. Condominium fees have yet to be determined. The condominiums are qualified for FHA financing.

The homes have vaulted ceilings up to 24 feet high and unique floor plans that reflect the building's original spaces. Homes are available with one, two or three levels and include hardwood floors and solid wood doors. The homes have recessed lighting, custom tile flooring in the kitchens and baths, glass backsplashes, energy-efficient stainless steel appliances, high-tech custom-designed wiring, high-efficiency heating and air-conditioning systems, wood-framed windows, custom-designed kitchen cabinets, solid quartz kitchen counters, and a luxury master bath.

The homes include reserved indoor parking and bicycle storage.

Residence 8, which is 1,280 square feet on three levels, is priced from $399,900. This home has an open floor plan on the main, entry level with a center-island kitchen and a living and dining area. Upstairs, the loft level has a master suite with a walk-in closet and a full bath. The lower level has a second master suite, with a washer and dryer, a closet and a full bath. This level has a glass door to a deck and private yard.

Residence 9, with 2,710 finished square feet, is priced from $1,200,000. This home has a private street entrance and two private outdoor spaces. The entry level includes an open living room, center-island kitchen and a two-story dining area. This level also has a powder room and a glass door to a terrace and a private yard. The loft level has a bedroom with a walk-in closet and a luxury bath with a double-sink vanity, a shower and a free-standing tub. The lower level has two more bedrooms, each with a private bath and two closets. A laundry room and a door to a private terrace are also on this level.

For more information or directions to the Residences at St. Monica's, call senior sales manager Jeremy Aldridge at 202/304-3437 or visit www.stmonicasdc.com.

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