Alexandria’s Parker-Gray District: Then and Now-Oct. 22

Page archived as of November 24, 2015

Contact:  Audrey Davis, (703) 746-4356,

Unless you’ve lived in Alexandria for most of your adult life, you have little idea how much this town has changed in the past half century.  Long-segregated neighborhoods and nearly abandoned industrial districts have given way to the attractive mix of quaint streets and homes, historic sites, boutique retail and unique dining that today draws residents and visitors alike.  On Wednesday October 22, at 7:30 PM, two City preservation planners describe this change as it relates to one of Alexandria’s oldest neighborhoods, known as Parker-Gray.

Catherine Miliaras and Stephanie Sample present “Alexandria’s Parker-Gray District: Then and Now” at The Lyceum --- Alexandria’s History Museum, for the Alexandria Historical Society.  Lightly settled until after the Civil War, Parker-Gray was originally known as “Uptown,” an African-American neighborhood with a strong commercial core centered on Queen and North Henry Streets.  The name Parker-Gray comes from two late-19th/early 20th-c. principals of local schools, John Parker and Sarah Gray, and the neighborhood makes up the historic northwest quadrant of what most people know as Old Town Alexandria.

By the late 1970’s, neighborhood residents faced threats to their historic community from urban renewal, the development of the Metro system, as well as gentrification.  Miliaras and Sample will put these issues into perspective in the larger world of historic preservation, and show how public action led to the establishment of the Parker-Gray Historic District.

The talk is free and open to the public, and doors open at 7:00 PM.  Parking is extremely limited at The Lyceum itself, but there are garages and street parking nearby.