Museums & Sites
Many of the City's premier historic sites are owned and operated by the City of Alexandria and fall under the administration of the Office of Historic Alexandria, the department of City government charged with the conservation, interpretation and promotion of these links to the past. The Office of Historic Alexandria has received accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.
View Alexandria history on C-Span's American History TV. The series of seven videos originally aired March 16-18, 2013, exploring Alexandria's Archaeology Museum, the Freedmen's Cemetery, Lee-Fendall House, Fort Ward and Alexandria's role in the Civil War, as well as the importance of the city to the first president, George Washington.
Alexandria Archaeology Museum visitors learn how the City’s archaeologists, volunteers and students work with residents and developers to study and manage archaeological resources important to the community's past.
Alexandria Black History Museum enriches the lives of Alexandria's residents and visitors, fosters tolerance and understanding among all cultures, and stimulates appreciation of the diversity of the African American experience. The Museum also manages the Watson Reading Room and the Alexandria African American Heritage Park.
Alexandria Archives & Records Center identifies, preserves, and makes available to the public records of the City of Alexandria government that have been appraised and selected for historic value. The Archives & Records Center also provides records management, off-site storage, and reference services to City of Alexandria agencies.
Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site is the best preserved of the system of Union forts and batteries built to protect Washington, DC during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Fort Ward offers exhibits and programs on the site’s history, on Alexandria, Virginia as an occupied city and as a vital Union Army crossroads, and on the everyday life of Civil War soldiers and civilians.
Friendship Firehouse Museum, the oldest standing firehouse open as a museum in Alexandria, was originally home to the first volunteer fire company in town. Today, the exhibits of historic equipment and vehicles inspire visitors, and represent the dedication and public service of the men who protected the City for decades.
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum consists of the ca. 1785 tavern and 1792 City Hotel. Named for John Gadsby who operated them from 1796 to 1808, explore these buildings where Washington, Jefferson and ordinary travelers came to eat, drink, sleep and influence history.
Constructed around 1796-1797, Lloyd House is one of the best examples of Alexandria’s late eighteenth-century Georgian style, and one of five buildings of the Georgian style remaining in the city. The Lloyd House now houses the administrative offices of the Office of Historic Alexandria.
The Lyceum, itself a witness to nearly two centuries of local history, today serves as a gateway for Alexandria’s visitors. Through exhibitions, public programs, educational tours and a museum store, the staff provides opportunities for people to engage, interact and enjoy the community’s stories and artifacts.
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, one of the oldest pharmacies in the nation, sold everything from medicines to household goods from 1792 - 1933. Visitors can tour the historic shop and manufacturing room and view original products left behind by this unique family business.