Historic Alexandria

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

Page updated on Apr 19, 2018 at 2:34 PM

Historic Alexandria

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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Support all of Alexandria's museums with a generous donation through Spring2ACTion. Donate today, or join us for the Hip Hip Huzzah Happy Hour on April 25, 2018. Donate to specific museums or to the group. Spring2ACTion is an online giving day, hosted by ACT for Alexandria, created to support the nonprofits doing great work in our community. Thanks for your support!


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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 hear experts on a panel, learn about hands-on preservation practices, tour a site or have a drink with other preservationists.


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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. Find out more about each of our museums and historic sites.


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Explore centuries of human history. See a 13,000-year-old Clovis point, an 18th-century apothecary, a restored Civil War fort, a 1940s segregated library, and more. See all the information you need to plan a visit to the Historic Alexandria museums - address and phone numbers, hours, admission fees, directions and more. Before your visit, be sure to print an eSavings Coupons.


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“Hamilton” is coming to DC! Are you a fan? Learn more about special Historic Alexandria's Hamilton-themed events at VisitAlexandria.com. Attend a lecture on Hamilton's relationship with Washington, join a Hamilton-themed tour, try on uniforms of the Revolutionary War, or play 18th-century style games.


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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.


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The City of Alexandria has announced that archaeologists under contract with developer EYA LLC and working under a City-approved Resource Management Plan have found the remains of a third historic ship at the Robinson Landing construction site in Old Town. All three ships are believed to have been built in the mid-to-late 1700s, and buried before 1798. A similar ship was discovered nearby at the Hotel Indigo site in late 2015.


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Archaeologists uncovered the remains of the hull of a fifty-foot vessel on the Hotel Indigo 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. 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 undergoing conservation at Texas A&M University's Conservation Research Laboratory. Please make a generous donation to the   Save Our Ship Conservation Fund


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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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Freedom House Museum at 1315 Duke Street is now open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The building is currently owned by the Northern Virginia Urban League and together with the Office of Historic Alexandria, we invite you to visit the museum in this historic reminder of slavery.


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The goal of this project is to expand interpretation in Fort Ward Park to include the full range of its history, especially including the African American experience and the post-Civil War Fort community.  Fort Ward's Civil War history will remain a core theme, but new elements will explore the legacy of that pivotal era. Consultants held a meeting on January 18 with the Fort Ward Interpretive Committee and the community to present initial approaches to this Plan. The public is invited to attend meetings of the Committee which are announced on the Calendar of Events for the City and the Office of Historic Alexandria.


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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.


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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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“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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The City of Alexandria’s wayfinding signage system helps people find their way around the city. Take a look at the new map and history panel “mini-kiosks” in Old Town, from the Masonic Temple on Shuter's Hill to the waterfront. Read the full text of the history panels here.


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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.


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Visit the Historic Alexandria Museum Store at The Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street) and online at The Alexandria Shop. 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. 


About the Office of Historic Alexandria

Many of the city's premier historic sites 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 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.


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