Murray-Dick-Fawcett House: 517 Prince Street

This historic property is one of the oldest homes in Alexandria. The property was acquired by the City of Alexandria in 2017, with the support of conservation trust funds. It is to be used in perpetuity as a historic site, vest-pocket park and garden.

Page updated on Dec 15, 2021 at 10:23 AM

The House and Garden

517 PrinceThe Murray-Dick-Fawcett House, at 517 Prince Street, is one of the earliest homes in the city, and possibly the least altered 18th Century home in Northern Virginia.

The 0.3-acre lot, which contains 1770s timber frame and brick dwelling, and a small garden, was one of the few buildings in existence in the area during the American Revolution. The house has been recognized by local historians as a “fascinating microcosm of the complete single family dwelling, containing in addition to the usual living, dining and bedrooms a kitchen, a necessary, rooms for slaves or servants and storage rooms, all under one roof.”

The property was acquired by the City of Alexandria in 2017, with the support of conservation trust funds. It is to be used in perpetuity as a historic site, vest-pocket park and garden, creating new open space in Old Town and preserving this nationally significant architectural and cultural resource for residents and visitors. The former owner has life-tenancy in the house, with public access for special events 12 times per year.  In the future, the house will be operated as a museum and educational center focused on domestic life in Alexandria during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Preservation in Progress at the Murray-Dick-Fawcett House.

Preservation in Progress at the MDF House, August 2021A historically accurate replacement of both the standing seam and wood shingle roof is in progress and should be completed by December 2021. The contractor for the job is Hank Handler, Oak Grove Restoration CompanyIn keeping with the City of Alexandria’s Noise Ordinance, the work will not start before 7:00 a.m., Monday - Friday, or 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays. The work will stop at 6:00 p.m. every day and will not occur on Sundays or Holidays.  This project will also include wood renewal on the exterior dormer windows and repointing of the chimneys above the roof line.  The Murray-Dick-Fawcett House is one of our community treasures and its preservation is a top priority.


One of the most interesting examples of architectural survival in densely populated Alexandria is the dwelling at 517 Prince St., one of the earliest homes in the city and possibly the least-altered 18th-century home in Northern Virginia, which is still used today as a residence. 


The Murray-Dick-Fawcett House is a unique 18-century building whose physical structure changed very little each time it expanded—in 1784, 1790, and before 1823.


Items of clothing, representing several generations of residents of the Murray-Dick-Fawcett house, were donated to The Lyceum by a former owner. These are among the objects that appeared in the 2002-2003 Lyceum exhibit "Generations: Costume in Alexandria."

Visiting the Garden

The garden is closed during the restoration project. The garden area  is normally open to the public from the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please respect the privacy of the home’s tenant and do not ascend the steps to the house.

Visiting the House

The house is open for special events throughout the year. Public events will be announced through eNews, the Calendar, and the press. The first events were held for Preservation Month 2017.

Event Tickets

To purchase tickets to events at Historic Alexandria Museums and to shop online, visit  The Alexandria Shop

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