The Beauty and Necessity in Change: Wonder Bread Factory, S Street

From the second I walked into the Wonder Bread Factory, I was struck by its beauty. I expected to see old brick, and historic structures from the building’s older Dorsch’s White Cross Bakery days from 1913, but instead, I was surrounded by sophisticated graphic art designs, and complex objects. There is no question that the Wonder Bread Factory on 641 S St. NW is not the same building it was decades earlier. There are no longer flour-covered workers tossing dough and bread from one section of the kitchen to the other. They have been replaced with millennials in business suits conversing over coffee on beautiful wooden tables. The interior may have drastically changed, but I have the feeling that people are still accomplishing something special.

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The exterior of WeWork and the old Wonder Bread Factory.

When WeWork, a company dedicated to providing office spaces, came to DC, they were motivated to find a location that would improve the “creative space” that was lacking in the city (O’Connell). The thirty-three thousand square foot building with “high ceilings, large glass windows, exposed brick and wood beams” was the exact space they were searching for (O’Connell). The building requires a keycard to enter, but guests can ring the doorbell for entrance. Once inside, there is a waiting area with decorative, seasonal pillows on two couches and a wooden table. There is also graphic art design on this portion of the walls, which is an interesting touch to include with the older brick. 

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The seating area with various pillows and couches. Notice the older brick wall, graphic art, and beautiful natural light from the streets.

Additionally, the architects certainly made use of the building’s space. Despite the extensive design, there is a giant lobby, and plenty of area to navigate between spaces. Behind the waiting area, there is WeWork’s own reading and book selection. Also, there are two secluded conference rooms and a kitchen for workers. The first conference room is seen immediately when entering, has a sign called, “The Green House,” and in it there are also various plants. In between the two conference rooms, there is a model RV, that holds additional couch seating for guests. 

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The books, tables, and TV for staff to work with.
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The “Green Room” or first conference room seen when entering the building.
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More of the conference room, as well as the Model RV and additional seating for guests
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The end of the lobby, more tables, and beautiful art.

At the end of the spacious lobby, there are two beautiful, vibrant paintings that depict runners sprinting to the finish line. There is a long table in front of them as well. The entire interior is extremely colorful, but mostly contains navy blues and various shades of greens. A majority of the objects are wooden, and the space itself makes use of the building’s natural light. Despite how modern it looks, the building also kept the brick and high ceiling structures which complements the twenty-first century design.

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Here is the receptionist’s desk, as well as the large lobby and walking space, there is plenty of room to walk around from area to area. This is also an excellent picture of the building’s ceiling structure.

The interior of the site felt revolutionary, and brought up feelings concerning change due to the atmosphere and mood of the décor. Previously, I talked to Keith, an older man who has lived across the street from the Wonder Bread Factory for several years. He described how customers and workers would toss various bread products to each other inside the factory. They would laugh and have a fun time together, while occasionally getting free bread out of it. As I was wandering around the current building, I pictured the sounds and images of these men working together. Now, individuals are tossing around various concepts for potential companies in the Wonder Bread Factory building. When I observed the area and the workers, I felt positive and hopeful energy. They loved what they were accomplishing, and most importantly, they were happy in their careers. Although I was disappointed at how different the location was from Keith described to me, I could not help but be amazed at how effortlessly things have changed. While it is important to cherish and remember the past, it is necessary to move on, and adapt to the changes in society surrounding us.

Picture of the beginning of the construction process
Picture of the beginning of the construction process

 

Commonplace Book #6 Editing Rewrite

Fleming elaborates on different sized democracies working for various groups of people and governments. For example, local governments require unity. It is necessary for groups to quickly and efficiently communicate and make decisions. Local governments have no need to be extremely powerful because they are not in charge of larger groups. It is unrealistic for them to hear out people in the democracy; it would be ineffective. Smaller groups are incapable of handling conflicts that extend to the rest of the world, state, and country. They do not have the resources and people to deal with issues that concern everyone.

Making Accommodations For the Benefit of the Country

In “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating’” by Emily Bazelon, she emphasizes how individuals have been accommodating for each other for years, and how crucial it is for people to adapt now for the LGBTQ+ community. Bazelon begins the article by pointing out how restrooms are meant to be public spaces for every individual. Bathrooms are suppose to be available for everyone, and they’re a location where people could potentially be in a vulnerable position. However, individuals in society are beginning to feel unsafe or unwelcome in these public spaces. For the future, it is imperative that all types of people join together to welcome each other in as many locations as possible. As history as shown, this country is stronger together rather than apart.

In order for all groups to better understand each other, individuals will need to adapt and make an effort to understand how the LGBTQ+ community feels in their current bathroom situation. As Bazelon states, accommodate is “a word that involves moving over to make room for other people, whether you want to or not” (Bazelon). In other words, she explains that the LGBTQ+ community will continue to be here no matter what. Regardless of whether or not they are given their own bathrooms, or are allowed to use one of their choosing, they will not stop existing or pushing for their rights. It is not wise for people to expect them to disappear, and surrender what they believe is a basic right. In contrast, Bazelon also defines accommodate as “allow[ing] the possibility for a mutual give and take” (Bazelon). Furthermore, those against gender-neutral bathrooms, and LGBTQ+ people can work together to understand each other’s perspectives and make genuine progress. On one side, individuals may argue that the LGBTQ+ community has been adapting and facing discrimination for years. However, the other side would counter that the transgender community “has burst into consciousness quickly” (Bazelon) and could be viewed as challenging to understand. Both groups of individuals are very passionate about their opinions and views, and unless people start accommodating for new ideas, there will be no change.

Bathrooms and other public locations need to broaden their thinking and amend their spaces to be welcoming and neutral for all genders and people, no matter what they may identify as. If contractors and businesses established their spaces with the concept in mind that any human-being should feel welcome and safe in their location, than there would not be no conflict. As the author states in the final sentence, “The ache lies in the word belong – another basic human need we all share” (Bazelon). Every individual desires the feeling of belonging; nobody wants to be left out. In the world we are currently living in, transgenders and other members of the LGBTQ+ community are struggling enough as it is to feel safe in their own skin and country. The very least that the government, businesses, and citizens can do is accommodate their own needs to support and provide the LGBTQ+ with gender-neutral bathrooms. The United States will be stronger as a whole once this conflict is eliminated within the nation and their people.

Influencing Students and Their Learning Based on Landscapes: An Analysis of Scholl and Gulwadi

In “Recognizing Campus Landscapes and Learning Spaces,” Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Gulwadi recognize that students learn in areas beyond the classroom and colleges need to provide different environments in order for students to create the skills they will need in college and in the workforce. The article emphasizes how while classrooms are necessities for professors to properly lecture and present their lessons, there is still a need for campuses to have areas besides the buildings filled with classrooms. Students are evolving with society. As new learning techniques and technology continue to be at the forefront of education, college students are eager to take advantage of these varying opportunities. However, in many cases, it is not possible for individuals to explore all of these desired opportunities in the classroom alone. Whether it is the library, or simply a campus quad, every location is crucial to improving a student’s knowledge and expanding their learning capabilities, as the article states, “the entire campus, including its open spaces, must be perceived as a holistic learning space.” In other words, every location on campus should be a safe spot for students to learn. Individuals should be able to leave the classroom and know they will have additional areas to improve on their studies and thoughts.

Additionally, the article goes in depth on direct and involuntary attention and how colleges should create and improve their campuses to provide areas to cater to these concepts. The article describes direct attention as the “ability to sustain focus” or to not get distracted and pay attention to your surroundings. Being able to completely focus and forget about any distractions is a crucial skill not only in college, but also in the workforce. Employers will hire individuals who can handle complicated tasks on time and without errors. In contrast to direct attention, it is necessary for environments to encourage involuntary attention. Involuntary attention “employs faculties of concentration not normally used.” It allows students to rest and relax while the parts of their brain that uses direct attention is put to the side. College is stressful and students need to be able to calm down and relax before the entire experience becomes too much for them. Involuntary attention does not occur in classrooms, and happens more often in landscape areas. As a result, if college campuses are established with no greenery or landscapes, it would be very difficult for students to be relaxed when they are surrounded by classrooms.

When colleges are establishing their campuses, they need to think beyond the classrooms, and focus on creating additional locations on campus where their students will be able to further their thinking from their classes and life. Therefore, colleges should create their campuses with involuntary and direct attention in mind. One of the main objectives of college is to assist students in being as prepared for future jobs as possible. Environments varying from classrooms, such as landscapes or greenery, require different types of attention. For this reason, colleges must consider how certain spaces will impact their students’ actions and thoughts.

Commonplace Book #5: Georgia Referendum

Georgia Referendum to Amend State Constitution:

“Shall Property owned by the University System of Georgia and utilized by providers of college and university student housing and other facilities continue to be exempt from taxation to keep costs affordable?”

In its root form, this sentence could be summed up as, “Should the property continue to be exempt from taxation?” By discovering the root, it makes it easier for the audience to understand the main point. With additional words such as utilized, providers, continue, and affordable, the encoder can add more meaning to the sentence. For example, although on its own the word “continue” is simple, in this context, it tells the audience that there is something that is habitually occurring in Georgia. Without the word “continue”, the entire sentence may have a different purpose. In this situation, the encoder would be the people who are running the referendum. The audience would be those who live in Georgia, specifically they might be the ones who are providers of college and university student housing. meaning of this sentence would be how people are wondering if property taxes should remain exempt for the University System of Georgia and other providers of college housing and facilities. The rhetorical situation is that some individuals may believe that property taxes should be paid. The rhetorical situation may also be that taxes should continue to be exempt because it is more important for costs to stay affordable. Since this statement is from a Georgia referendum which is government related, they may be leaning more towards more taxes being paid.

Hostess Bakery and The Wonder Bread Factory Alleyway

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Here is a picture of the alleyway next to the Hostess Bakery and Wonder Bread Factory. As you can see, it is pretty spotless for an alleyway in the city. Years ago, when S Street was not as modernized or rebuilt, this was a very popular spot for drug dealings. Now, it is completely clean and safe, another example of how much has changed in this location.

S Street Apartments

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Here you can see multiple angles of the neighboring apartments. Not pictured are also purple and light green apartments further down. Together, all of these buildings are a nice contrast to the brick structure of the Hostess Bakery/Wonder Bread Factory and the New Community Church. The apartments are also modernized, and I can imagine that they are quite expensive now in 2016.

“we works” and The Sunset

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This was my favorite picture of my site. On the side of the picture, you can see the “we works” building that holds more office space and I believe is attached to Hostess Bakery/Wonder Bread Factory. They have similar infrastructures. However, you can also see the beautiful sunset that is arriving on my site. Additionally, you can see several cars parked, which shows how populated this area is now.

Hostess Bakery and The Wonder Bread Factory

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The Hostess Bakery and Wonder Bread Factory is home to office space for their workers as well as for ISL on the upper level. The historic brick and the three signs on top of the building truly represent their complex past. The street and alleyway was also quite clean, and was very busy.

New Community Church

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As I was exploring Hostess Bakery/Wonder Bread Factory, I also saw the New Community Church across the street. The brick on the church contains a lot of character, and although it seems a little rundown, it is a beautiful addition to the site. However, my favorite part of the church was hearing and seeing all of the children playing behind of it.