Unique Spaces: The R Street Firehouse

by Shilpi Paul

Unique Spaces: The R Street Firehouse: Figure 1
931 R Street NW

UrbanTurf's Unique Spaces series takes a look at properties that could be considered “one-of-a-kind” in the DC area. If you have a home that you think fits the bill, send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). See all of our past Unique Spaces articles here.

Former churches, schools and firehouses have the potential to become some of the most interesting homes in this city, if a creative owner takes the time to think through the renovation. In this installment of Unique Spaces, UrbanTurf takes a look at a Logan Circle firehouse that was transformed by just such a creative owner.

931 R Street NW was born as Engine House No. 7 in 1885, and went on to serve as a fire station for the city over the next 90 years. In 1940, it became Engine House No. 4, the city's first all-black fire company.

In the 1970s, the building took on a new life when it was repurposed to manufacture harpsichords. It wasn't until 1992 that the property was purchased by current owner Craig Kraft, an artist who used the building as a live-work space. If you have lived in Logan Circle for several years, chances are you have seen Kraft's neon sculptures around the neighborhood.

Unique Spaces: The R Street Firehouse: Figure 2

For the last 20 years, Kraft has used the ground level of the former firehouse as a studio space and the upper floors as comfortable living areas. The large kitchen is outfitted with a giant butcher block island, and the layout of the main living area includes both cozy nooks and two-story ceilings. In addition to the main living quarters, there are also two one-bedroom apartments that Kraft currently rents out.

Despite its transformation, the 6,267-square-foot home still holds on to aspects of its former life. Inside, you will find the brass fireman's pole, wooden lockers and exposed masonry from when it was a firehouse. More details and photos below.

  • Address: 931 R Street NW, Engine House No. 7 (map)
  • Price: $2.65 million
  • Bedrooms: Three (plus two one-bed, one-bath apartments)
  • Bathrooms: Two
  • Year Built: 1884
  • Square Footage: 6,297
  • Listing Agent: Michael Rankin, TTR Sotheby's International Realty

Unique Spaces: The R Street Firehouse: Figure 3

Unique Spaces: The R Street Firehouse: Figure 4

Unique Spaces: The R Street Firehouse: Figure 5

Unique Spaces: The R Street Firehouse: Figure 6

Photos courtesy of Sean Shanahan.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/unique_spaces_engine_house_no._7/7238


  1. William said at 8:17 pm on Monday June 24, 2013:
    Great to see how this house looks on the inside and hear about its back story. I pass by it twice a day and have always wondered.
  1. Paul Williams said at 8:53 pm on Monday June 24, 2013:
    I did a complete history of the firehouse on my blog at http://househistoryman.blogspot.com/2013/06/dcs-first-african-american-fire-station.html
  1. saladman8283 said at 6:51 pm on Tuesday June 25, 2013:
    I went to a party here in the mid 90s when Kraft was married to a woman I knew from college (also an artist). I remember thinking, this is a very cool space but who would ever want to live in this neighborhood? Unfortunately neither Kraft nor his ex had a crystal ball at that party.

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