Dorsch’s White Cross (Wonderbread) Bakery is one of the few remaining bakery complexes in Washington and is an excellent representative of a once major industry in the District. First established on 7th Street by Peter M. Dorsch around 1904, the White Cross grew from a small neighborhood business to one of Washington’s largest bakeries. Dorsch built the first of several expansions in Wiltberger Alley in 1913. There it joined many other bakeries operating along the area’s alleys. He further expanded in 1915 and 1922 with the construction of two Craftsman style buildings facing S Street. By the end of the 1920s, the White Cross produced 100,000 loaves of bread a day and baked 40 different varieties of cakes. Dorsch sold his business in 1936 to the Continental Baking Company who primarily used the White Cross for production of its Hostess cake products. The S Street buildings, with their distinctive stone and glazed tile white crosses, are among the most architecturally notable industrial/commercial buildings in the city.
DC Inventory: November 17, 2011.