The free-standing chapel at 1015 D St. NE in the District, built in 1900 for a German Catholic congregation, has undergone a few transformations in its 120-year history.

The chapel continued to function as a church until a few years ago when the congregation moved to Prince George’s County, Md., says Sean Ruppert, president of Opal, a development company known for converting historic structures into homes such as Naylor Court Stables and Cluss Alley Car Barn.

“The chapel was on the market for a year before we bought it and it’s a sweet little building,” Ruppert says. “We worked with the Historic Preservation Review Board to convert the chapel into two side-by-side homes.”

Both houses have four levels with about 2,700 square feet, three or four bedrooms, five bathrooms, off-street parking and outdoor space. Unit A, which is primarily in the historic section, is priced at $1,895,000 and includes two patios. Unit B, which is in the addition, is priced at $1,885,000 and has a fenced back patio.

Each house has a bedroom, recreation room and full bathroom on the lower level. The main level has a powder room and an open kitchen, dining area and living area. The bedroom level includes a master-bedroom suite and a second bedroom with a private full bathroom. Both houses also have an attic level with a steeply pitched roof and a home office or guest suite with skylights and a full bathroom.

“The Historic Preservation Review Board doesn’t want an addition to look exactly like the historic section,” says Ruppert. “They actually prefer a more contemporary addition rather than to replicate the original building.”

Many of the stained-glass windows in the chapel were broken or missing, Ruppert says, so they had them all remade in the same pattern.

“It’s important to be able to see through the stained-glass and get lots of natural sunlight in the homes, but we also wanted to preserve and protect some of the original church,” Ruppert says. “We repointed and repaired the exterior brick, dug out the basement and rebuilt the entire interior of the church. We put a new roof on the original structure and added a similarly pitched roofline to the new section.”

When the Little Red Chapel was under construction, Ruppert says, Jason Woodward, chief operating officer of Opal and Ruppert’s husband, learned through his research into the chapel that a time capsule was placed behind the cornerstone in 1900.

“We’re still debating whether we’ll take it out and add to it or just leave it there,” Ruppert says.

For more photos and floor plans, click here.

For more information, contact Sean Ruppert at 202-664-2009.

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