On the Waterfront: Ray’s Warehouse

As part of his occassional series on the buildings that once made up Georgetown’s industrial waterfront, GM turns to Ray’s Warehouse, which once stood at 3260 and 3262 K St.

Name: Ray’s Warehouse

Built: 1855

Built By: Ray family

Current Use: Demolished 1974

A little while ago, GM wrote about Bomford’s Mill at the corner of Grace and Potomac St. It was one of a few prosperous flour mills that used water power from the canal. Another of these flour mills was built by Alexander Ray and his two sons. It was built in 1847, just two years after Bomford’s Mill. In fact, the Rays had to “sublet” 100 inches of water pressure from Bomford (Bomford had rights to 400 inches). Eventually the mill built for the Ray’s was torn down and rebuilt as the building that currently stands at the corner of Potomac and K.

To provide storage space for the mill and to have a dock, the Ray family built a warehouse on the 3262 K St. property, which they had acquired in 1853. Previous to the construction of the warehouse, the property was vacant.

In 1885, the property was deeded to George Cissel, who owned several of the flour mills in Georgetown. (In fact, he owned Bomford’s Mill around the turn of the century). After acquiring the property, Cissel added a building on the 3260 K St. property (it’s the flat roofed building in the photo on the top of the page).

Through the 20th century, the property served several purposes, including a chemist and an asphalt producer. The last tenant was Corson and Grumman, Inc., a contractor.

The property was demolished in 1974, and was at some point paved over and turned into a parking lot. Nowadays, it’s part of Georgetown’s wonderful waterfront park:

Previously from On the Waterfront:



Filed under On the Waterfront

2 responses to “On the Waterfront: Ray’s Warehouse

  1. I love these little history bits, though I have to admit, when I saw the title, my heart leapt at the thought that Michael Landrum would be opening a new “Ray’s” restaurant on the G’town waterfront!

  2. An excellent book on the architecture of Georgetown’s waterfront is “Georgetown Historic Waterfront, Washington, D.C. : A Review of Canal and Riverside Architecture.”

    Reference copies are available at the DC Public Library’s Washingtoniana Division and Peabody Room (call # 720.9753 G351).

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