Built in 1860, This Week’s Find, now a 3,100 square-foot four-bedroom home, has a past that includes life as a pie factory and as a clearing house for illicit substances.
In the late 1870’s, Henry Kern bought the original one-story building from his father-in-law, and a few years later, built a two-story addition on adjacent land and raised his family and ran a bakery out of the space. Kern’s Pies were a neighborhood staple for the next few decades.
Upon retiring, Kern decided to rent the building to a bottler, Ellis Duke. Here’s where the story of the property takes a felonious turn. Duke distributed beer, whiskey and wine from the address during Prohibition until the building was raided in 1928.
The address was raided yet again in the 1970’s, when a company under the name of R&R Driftwood was caught smuggling heroin from Thailand into the the US through 1125 D Street NE.
Now, the space is a near million-dollar loft with some street cred. With high ceilings, an acid-washed concrete floor, exposed steel beams, a floating cement staircase, and sliding barn doors, the living area has an industrial feel. The cozy bedrooms help soften the vibe, and the house also has a roof deck with a pergola and an above-ground in-law suite.
While a 2001 renovation created a number of the aforementioned features, the building’s history still may be the most fascinating thing about it.
More photos and details below.