Church Street: Lofts, Hair Salons and a Few Churches

  • February 15th 2012

by Shilpi Paul

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Church Street: Lofts, Hair Salons and a Few Churches: Figure 1
A church on Church Street NW

Church Street is a narrow one-way street connecting Logan Circle with Dupont Circle (map) that got its name thanks to the religious institutions that dot its blocks. The largely residential street is now lined with industrial lofts, an exceptional hair salon, a 125-seat theater, and is bookended by two of the best restaurants in the city. Also, as the name implies, it is still home to a few imposing stone churches, like St. Luke’s at 18th Street, Foundry United Methodist at 16th Street, and St. Thomas’ at 15th Street, all of which contribute to a quieter, more reverential atmosphere than can be found on nightlife-heavy 17th and 14th Streets.

Church Street: Lofts, Hair Salons and a Few Churches: Figure 2
Former auto shop turned lofts

Here at UrbanTurf, we see loft-like condos all the time, but don’t run across too many “real” lofts: residential units in former industrial spaces. Church Street lofts are an exception, making up a mini warehouse district not often found in DC. The block between 14th and 15th Street is full of former auto body shops that have been converted into high-end, authentic loft units, like Saxon Court and The Metro, developed by PN Hoffman, and Lofts 14, developed by Metropolis Developers, among others.

Church Street: Lofts, Hair Salons and a Few Churches: Figure 3
Saxon Court

Not all of the former auto body shops are now residences, though; one is a ‘stylista’ destination. Immortal Beloved, a hair salon at 1457 Church Street NW, has been written up in national magazines and, allegedly, has Michelle Obama’s loyalty. The open, cement floored, warehouse-y feel and cuts that sometimes cost as much as $200 make it seem like it wouldn’t be out of place in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Shannon Cusello, the salon manager, told UrbanTurf that their tucked-away location adds to the whispered, in-the-know vibe surrounding the studio.

Church Street: Lofts, Hair Salons and a Few Churches: Figure 4
Immortal Beloved

Farther west on the boulevard is the Church Street Theater at 1742 Church St NW. The cozy 125-seat theater was built in 1905 and served as a school gym for a while, but converted to its current use in 1975. The 1700 block of Church Street is quiet and leafy and full of row houses and Jeff Klein of the company told UrbanTurf that he loves that aspect of the block.

“It kind of reminds me a Provincetown. It’s a little offbeat and different from other theaters.”

Adding to the block’s allure are two of the city’s best restaurants that lie on both ends. Estadio, the Spanish tapas eatery from the folks behind Proof, sits at 14th and Church Street and Komi, widely regarded as the city’s best restaurant, sits just off the intersection of 17th and Church.

Cusello probably summed it up best about Church Street.

“You have to make an effort to get back here and have to know where we are,” she told us. “But that is part of its allure.”

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/church_street_lofts_hair_salons_and_a_few_churches/5095.

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