Historic Alexandria

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

Page updated on Nov 22, 2017 at 11:48 AM

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!


City Manager Mark B. Jinks has announced that J. Lance Mallamo, director of the Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA), will retire effective November 30.  Deputy Director Gretchen M. Bulova will serve as acting director. Mallamo joined the City of Alexandria in 2007. Bulova was appointed OHA’s first deputy director in 2015, following more than 20 years of service with the City. 


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.


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." 


The goal of this project is to expand interpretation at Fort Ward Park to cover the full range of its history, especially including the African American experience and the post-war Fort community. Fort Ward's Civil War history will remain a core theme. The Fort Ward Final Project Brief (September 19, 2017) provides an overview of the scope and goals of this important interpretive initiative. 

Learn about the  Stakeholder Advisory Group , and about archaeological and historical research, including reports on excavations, transcriptions of oral history interviews with former residents. 


The City of Alexandria is joining countless others around the world in commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I. Learn more about Alexandria’s involvement in WWI and current and upcoming events marking the centennial.


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


Archaeologists uncovered the remains of the hull of a fifty-foot vessel on the Hotel Indigo construction site at 220 S. Union Street. A tree-ring study revealed that the ship's timbers were felled in Massachusetts sometime after 1741. 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. In June 2017, the ship arrived at Texas A&M University's Conservation Research Laboratory, known for working with archaeological material from shipwrecks and other underwater sites. Please read the press release and make a generous donation to the Save Our Ship Conservation Fund


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.


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.


“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.


Enjoy a variety of walking and bike tours, listen to podcasts, explore Alexandria's Civil War heritage with a free iPhone app, go on a scavenger hunt, or learn about Trail Signs and the Alexandria Heritage Trail. For a short preview, check out Visit Alexandria 360, a virtual tour.


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.


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
Fax: 703.838.6451

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