Historic Sites

Learn more about Alexandria's historic sites.

Page updated on Dec 19, 2019 at 9:05 AM

Here are some resources about Alexandria's historic sites. These sites, while not listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are significant to Alexandria's history.

Alexandria Library

Barrett Branch Library, 707 Queen Street

The Alexandria Library Company was founded in 1794, and operated as a subscription library. In 1937, funds were donated to erect a public library, in the building today known as the Barrett Branch Library, and an agreement was reached in which the Company turned over its collections to the City of Alexandria.

Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial

1001 S. Washington Street

The memorial, on South Washington at Church Street, marks the burial place for about 1,800 African Americans who fled to Alexandria to escape from bondage during the Civil War.  

The Fort

Fort Ward Park, 4301 W. Braddock Road

Learn about the history and archaeology of this former African American neighborhood, established after the Civil War in what is now Fort Ward Park. Download a brochure, learn about archaeological investigations, and read transcriptions of oral histories.

Friendship Firehouse

107 S. St. Asaph Street

Friendship Firehouse Museum is open to the public. The Friendship Fire Company was established in 1774, and was the first volunteer fire company in Alexandria. The current firehouse was built in 1855.

Portner's Brewery

St. Asaph and Pendleton Streets

The well-known brewery made Tivoli Brand lager beer from 1868 until Prohibition. This history was produced as part of an archaeological preservation project. 

Potomac Yard

Potomac Yard was once a huge rail classification yard that facilitated distribution of freight cars between northbound and southbound trains. See Heritage Trail Signs along Potomac Yard Park, read oral history transcripts of Potomac Yard workers, and review archaeology reports.

Ramsay House

221 King Street

The Ramsay House Visitor’s Center is open to the public.

Robinson Library

902 Wythe Street

The Robert H. Robinson Library was originally constructed in 1940 following a sit-in at the segregated Alexandria Library. It is now part of the Alexandria Black History Museum. 

The Torpedo Factory

105 N. Union Street

The Torpedo Factory, built in 1918, was originally the U.S. Naval Torpedo Station. It now houses the Torpedo Factory Art Center, open to the public.


These rare photographs of slaves were taken at a plantation near Little River Turnpike and Holmes Run.