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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 toeditor2013@urbanturf.com. 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.

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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
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Photos courtesy of Sean Shanahan.