The following six Alexandria Historic Districts are listed on the
National Register of Historic Places, the United States of America's official list of historic properties worthy of preservation.
More than 40 individual
Alexandria sites, buildings and structures, including nine African American sites, are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These places contribute to the understanding of the historical and cultural journey of this Nation.
Surviving structures in the Old and Historic District that reflect Alexandria's early life number about 200 and lie in an area bounded roughly by the Potomac River, Franklin Street, Washington Street and Queen Street. These structures include both warehouses and handsome dwellings of brick or frame. The general layout of the historic district consists of rectangular blocks on a grid pattern. The architecture found in the district includes the full range of the late-eighteenth and nineteenth century styles, but the district is more noted for its outstanding buildings of the Federal period. Buildings in this historic district are protected by the Board of Architectural Review.
King Street and S. Quaker Lane
Fairlington is a notable example of community planning and publicly financed housing built for defense workers and their families during World War II. It was designed by renowned architects Kenneth Franzheim and Alan B. Mills and represents the best of residential construction. Fairlington was intended to remain a permanent part of the community after the war's end. Defense Homes Corporation (DHC) managed Fairlington until its sale to private owners in 1947. Fairlington remained a rental community until 1972-77, when the units were successfully renovated and sold as condominiums. The community remains a fine and very well preserved example of the Colonial Revival style in Northern Virginia and in the Washington metropolitan area.
Parkfairfax Historic District
Bounded by Quaker Lane, U.S. 395, Beverly Dr., Wellington Rd., Gunston Rd., Valley Dr., Glebe Rd. and Four Mile Run
Parkfairfax was built during 1941 to 1943 to help alleviate the acute housing shortages resulting from the depression and World War II. There are 285 buildings with a total of 1,684 individual two-level condominium townhouses and one-level flats. Parkfairfax was named after the prominent 18th-century land owning Fairfax family. The architectural style is colonial revival with buildings being built of brick, terra cotta tile, wood, and concrete. The land before construction was rural and today only 1/10th of the land is covered with buildings. The site maintains excellent integrity with all original buildings extant. Few if any physical changes have been made from the original design. The site ranges from hill tops to flat river bottom and today is a beautifully mature open landscape with large tracts of woodlands, open spaces, and glens. Streets are asymmetrical and winding and there are four large cul-de-sacs. All street names have historic association with 18th century Virginia and George Washington.
- A Study in Decentralized Living: Parkfairfax, Alexandria, Virginia, Laura L. Bobeczko, Historic Alexandria Quarterly, Spring 1997.
- History of Parkfairfax
- History of Parkfairfax, Lisa Phinney, Parkfairfax Unit Owners Association.
Rosemont Historic District
Bounded approximately by Commonwealth Avenue, West Walnut Street, Russell Road, Rucker Place and King Street
Rosemont, located northwest of the Old and Historic District of Alexandria, adjacent to Alexandria's Union Station, is an unusually intact example of an early-twentieth century middle-class trolley suburb. Rosemont's initial development was closely linked to the growth of the electric rail system in the Washington area. Its houses, the majority of which were constructed between 1908 and 1930 in a variety of styles and sizes ranging from small Craftsman bungalows to large Arts and Crafts and Colonial Revival homes, have retained exceptional architectural integrity. The original street layout of the subdivision survives, reflecting the suburban planning ideals of the City Beautiful movement.
Town of Potomac Historic District
Roughly bounded by Commonwealth Ave., Route 1, East Bellafonte Ave. and Ashby Ave.
St. Elmo and Del Ray, two subdivisions platted in 1894, were joined together in 1908 to form the incorporated town of Potomac. Potomac exemplifies suburban growth based upon transportation development in the latter part of the 19th century. Residents commuted by train or trolley to jobs in Alexandria and with the expanding Federal government in Washington, D.C. At one time a third of the residents walked to work at the nearby Potomac Yards, a major railroad switching facility. Several houses and a Gold Bond Portable Chapel at 2701 DeWitt Avenue illustrate the commercial phenomenon of mail order buildings. The town of Potomac was annexed by the City of Alexandria in 1930.
- History of Del Ray and the Town of Potomac - View interpretive signs, a slide show, and oral histories developed for the 100th anniversary.
Uptown-Parker-Gray Historic District
Roughly bounded by Cameron St north to 1st St, and N Columbus St west to Buchanan, N West, and N Henry Sts.
The Parker-Gray District is named for the Parker Gray School which opened in 1920. The school was named in commemoration of John Parker and Sarah Gray who had been principals of two segregated schools in Alexandria during the latter part of the 19th century, the Snowden School for Boys and the Hallowell School for Girls. The district is a large, level area comprising most of the northwestern quadrant of the Old Town Alexandria street grid as it was laid out in 1797. Although the street pattern was shown on maps by 1798, most of the land remained vacant until the 1860s, and nearly all the built resources currently in the district date from after 1870. Most of the residences are small row houses and townhouses, but there are also many commercial buildings. Nineteenth-century architectural styles are found in restrained and simplified forms. The district’s core area consists of a concentration of frame houses with details from late-nineteenth-century styles, mainly the Italianate and Queen Anne styles. In the southwestern corner and throughout most of the western half of the district in general, whole blocks are occupied by brick Colonial Revival-style row houses built by developers in three or four major campaigns in the twentieth century. Buildings built for neighborhood-oriented businesses are found on street corners in the southern half of the district and in a small concentration of contiguous commercial buildings along Queen Street. The Queen Street business corridor was once the city’s primary African-American business district. Buildings in this historic district are protected by the Board of Architectural Review.
- Parker-Gray District Board of Architectural Review
- Catherine K. Miliaras, "The Parker-Gray District: Examining a Local Historic District a Generation Later," The Alexandria Chronicle, Spring 2015 (no. 1), Alexandria Historical Society.