Thursday, April 5, 2012

A walking tour of old town Alexandria, Virginia

Lord Fairfax home is one of the oldest privately owned townhomes in the neighborhood. It was built in 1801 by William Yeaton, who also designed the tomb for George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Thomas Lord Fairfax, a friend of the Washingtons, lived at the house on Cameron Street with his family from 1830 to 1846.



today we will be taking a quick tour of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. One of my favorite historic city's in America. I tuck theses photo's a few years back when I lived in Baltimore. I was on a day trip to Alexandria antiquing.  The first settlement of Alexandria was established in 1695, in what was then the British Colony of Virginia. Old Town, in the eastern and southeastern areas of Alexandria and on the Potomac River, is the oldest section of the city, originally laid out in 1749, and is a historic district. Old Town is chiefly known for its historic town houses, art galleries, antique shops, and restaurants. Some of the historic landmarks in Old Town include General Robert E. Lee's boyhood home, the Lee-Fendall House, a replica of George Washington's townhouse, Gadsby's Tavern, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop, and the Torpedo Factory art studio complex. River cruise boats and street entertainers frequent the large plaza at the foot of King Street; the Mount Vernon Trail also passes through. Old Town is laid out on a grid plan of substantially square blocks. The opening of the Washington Metro King Street station in 1983 led to a spurt of new hotel and office building development in western Old Town, and gentrification of townhouse areas west of Washington Street which were previously an African-American community.
 

Market Square in Old Town is believed to be one of the oldest continuously operating marketplaces in the United States, (from 1753 until present day), and was once the site of the second-largest slave market in the U.S. Today it contains a large fountain and extensive landscaping, as well as a farmers' market each Saturday morning.

In the center of the intersection of Washington and Prince streets stands a statue of a lone Confederate soldier which marks the spot where CSA units from Alexandria left to join the Confederate Army at the beginning of the American Civil War. The piece is entitled Appomattox and was cast by M. Casper Buberl in 1889.



Old Town Alexandria is full late 18th century early 19th century brick Georgian and federal row buildings. Most of theses early buildings were used as business on the bottom level and the family lived on the upper floors. 

If you look at this beautiful 18th century Georgian building you can see where store window was added on the bottom level. The original stone window lintels are still visible where the original windows once graced this building. 

A beautiful Georgian fanlight



Lord Fairfax home is one of the oldest privately owned townhomes in the neighborhood. It was built in 1801 by William Yeaton, who also designed the tomb for George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Thomas Lord Fairfax, a friend of the Washingtons, lived at the house on Cameron Street with his family from 1830 to 1846.




Lord Fairfax home is one of the oldest privately owned townhomes in the neighborhood. It was built in 1801 by William Yeaton, who also designed the tomb for George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Thomas Lord Fairfax, a friend of the Washingtons, lived at the house on Cameron Street with his family from 1830 to 1846.






Alexandria Lyceum, Alexandria, VA. The Alexandria Lyceum was constructed in 1839 in the Greek Revival style. It was inspired by the Lyceum Movement and first used as a lecture hall. During the Civil War, it was a hospital for the Union Army. Today, the Lyceum houses the Alexandria museum as well a community cultural center. 201 South Washington Street.

In 1839, a group of gentlemen calling themselves The Alexandria Lyceum joined with the Alexandria Library Company to build a grand hall to provide a place for lectures, scientific experiments and quiet reading.


Eventually, the building itself became known as The Lyceum and, since that time, it has been a Civil War hospital, a private home, an office building and the nation's first Bicentennial Center. In 1985, The Lyceum became Alexandria's History Museum, providing exhibitions, school programs, lectures and concerts, volunteer opportunities and space for rental functions for the community. The Lyceum Museum Shop carries a wide variety of maps, books, note cards and special items related to Alexandria's history. The present-day Lyceum Company serves the museum as a membership and fund-raising organization.


Alexandria Lyceum, Alexandria, VA. The Alexandria Lyceum was constructed in 1839 in the Greek Revival style. It was inspired by the Lyceum Movement and first used as a lecture hall. During the Civil War, it was a hospital for the Union Army. Today, the Lyceum houses the Alexandria museum as well a community cultural center. 201 South Washington Street.

2 comments:

  1. I wish I had seen Old Town Alexandria when I was in Virginia. Your photos show a gorgeous area, full of late 18th century Georgian and federal row buildings.

    Dividing the house into residential and business spaces reminds me of other domestic architecture in other places, not the least being canal houses in 17th century Netherlands or Huguenot weavers' homes after 1690 in Britain.

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  2. Hi Helen, thanks for your comment Old Town Alexandria is a very lovely town. I believe I tuck more photo's this day but I can't find them. Yes the business/residence in the same building is very European.

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