Historic Alexandria

Welcome to Historic Alexandria! Visit City of Alexandria museums and historic sites and discover our past, present and future!

Page updated on May 5, 2017 at 2:05 PM

Welcome to Historic Alexandria! With more than 250 years of history and hospitality to its credit, Alexandria offers an array of historic and cultural attractions. Alexandria's many historic homes, churches, businesses and museums allow residents and visitors alike to experience the hand of the past that makes our city the charming and historic town it is today. Visit City of Alexandria museums and historic sites and discover our pastpresent and future!

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This week in Historic Alexandria, enjoy the many exhibits, public programs and special event activities offered by our city’s great museums and historic sites! Information on daily calendar listings, museum hours, local history and much more is included in this e-newsletter, updated each week on this webpage or delivered to your in-box.  To subscribe to this and other information from the City of Alexandria, create an e-news  account and select your notifications of interest here.


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The City has acquired the historic Murray-Dick-Fawcett House in Old Town, one of the earliest homes in the city and possibly the least-altered 18th century home in Northern Virginia.

The public is invited to the Dedication Ceremony and Open House celebrating the public acquisition of the historic house and open space, Saturday, May 13, 2017, 8:30 am. Public tours of the house between 9 a.m. and noon!


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What happened in Alexandria on today's date, or tomorrow, or on your birthday? See today's historical events, or search for another date. These daily events in Alexandria's history were first printed in "This Week in Historic Alexandria." 



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May is Preservation Month, a time when communities across the country celebrate historic preservation locally. The City is hosting a series of events to highlight Alexandria’s historic preservation initiatives whether you want to listen to a talk, go for a walking tour or have a drink with other preservationists.  


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Help us preserve two important fire-fighting vehicles on display at Friendship Firehouse Museum: The Rodgers Suction Engine, built in 1851, and the Prettyman Hose Carriage, built in Alexandria in 1858.



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Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of the hull of a fifty-foot vessel on the Indigo Hotel construction site at 220 S. Union Street. Scuttled sometime in the late eighteenth century, the ship served as the framework for part of the landfill process that extended the waterfront out to the deep channel of the Potomac River.  Watch a video of this exciting discovery. Earlier finds at this site include the 1755 public warehouse.

We need your help to ensure the preservation of the fragile wood timbers of the historic ship for future generations to study and appreciate. The ship is headed to Texas A&M University for conservation. Please read the press release, and make a generous donation to the Save Our Ship Conservation Fund


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Visit the Historic Alexandria Museum Store, online and at two convenient locations. The shops offers great gift ideas, a wide variety of Alexandria-related merchandise and the very best selections from all the Historic Alexandria museum stores. Your purchases support programming at Historic Alexandria's museums. The 2016 Holiday Ornament features the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop.

  • Main Store at The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum, 201 S. Washington Street
  • Satellite Shop at the Alexandria Hilton, 1767 King Street 
  • Online at The Alexandria Shop.


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To commemorate the anniversary of American entry into World War II, The Lyceum presents The Five Payne Brothers An Alexandria Family & Their Service.


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The City of Alexandria is joining countless others around the world in commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I. The war began in Europe in 1914, and the US entered the war in April of 1917.


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Mercy Street, the PBS drama, is inspired by true stories of Civil War Alexandria, Virginia. Set in 1862, Mercy Street follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict. Experience Mercy Street in Alexandria with ongoing events and exhibits developed for the exciting second season (January 22, 2017). The Office of Historic Alexandria joins Extraordinary Alexandria in providing visitor experiences that uncover the real people behind the characters on the show, the realities of Civil War medicine, changing roles for women, and the breakthrough experience of enslaved African Americans claiming their freedom. Learn more about Alexandria during the Civil War.


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“Out of the Attic,” featuring historical photographs of Alexandria, is a column produced by the Office of Historic Alexandria and published weekly in the Alexandria Times newspaper. An archive of articles dating back to the column's beginning in 2007 appears here with the permission of the newspaperSort or search the index to learn about places or topics of interest.


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Explore Alexandria's Civil War heritage with a free iPhone app, find out about an array of historic and cultural attractions, go on a scavenger hunt, and walk or bike a part of the Alexandria Heritage Trail.


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Alexandria offers educators the unique opportunity to reinforce their teaching with hands-on experiences, field trips, lectures, educational kits and other media resources. These programs are designed to foster interest in the history and culture of Alexandria from colonial times to the present. You can schedule tours and programs at all of the Historic Alexandria Museums for school groups, scout groups, homeschool families, and camps, as well as for adults.


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Looking for something fun for your family to do in Historic Alexandria? With  living history programs, festivals, teas, and more, there is something for every age to enjoy at our local museums and historic sites! Make your child's birthday party a historic occasion at one of several historic Alexandria museums, send your kid to Summer Camp, or check the Calendar of Events to plan your family fun.


About the Office of Historic Alexandria

Seven 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.

These sites -  Alexandria Black History MuseumAlexandria Archaeology MuseumFort Ward Museum & Historic SiteFriendship Firehouse MuseumGadsby's Tavern MuseumThe Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum, and the  Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum - bring Alexandria's varied and storied history to life. Additionally, Alexandria has many  more historic sites which are open to the public and tell a significant part of the city's historical tale.

The Office of Historic Alexandria has received accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.

Contact Information 

Office of Historic Alexandria Administration Offices
Lloyd House
220 North Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.746.4554
Fax: 703.838.6451
Email

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m

Contact the museums, and plan your visit


American Alliance of Museums logo

American Alliance of Museums
Accredited Museum

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