Alexandria's Location & Climate
Alexandria is located in Northern Virginia south across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. The city encompasses 15.75 square miles at an average elevation of 30 feet above sea level. (maps)
Alexandria lies to the north of I-95, on the Virginia side of the Wilson Bridge. To access the city from I-95, take the Route 1 exit north (Patrick Street). Turn right on King Street to reach downtown Alexandria. From National Airport, take the George Washington Memorial Parkway south, it becomes Washington Street which passes through downtown. From Washington, D.C., take I-395 south to Route 1 south. After passing through Crystal City and Potomac Yards, Route 1 becomes Henry Street. Downtown is left on King Street.
Public parking is available throughout the downtown area. Because of rush hour traffic limitations, street parking restrictions are strictly enforced.
Average January temperature is 35.6 degrees, average July temperature is 78.7 degrees. Winter snows are generally mild but ice storms occasionally hit during January and February. Summers are generally humid from July through early September.
301 King Street, Alexandria VA 22314
Alexandria City Hall was erected on the site designated for the market and city hall when Alexandria was founded in 1749. The tall, steepled tower, which contrasts with the building's Second Empire-style massing and detailing, is a reconstruction of a tower designed by Benjamin H. Latrobe that was part of Alexandria's 1817 town hall. That hall burned in 1871, necessitating construction of the current building, designed by Adolph Cluss, a locally prominent architect who had designed the U.S. Department of Agriculture building in 1869 and Washington's Central Market in 1870. The new City Hall was U-shaped around a central courtyard. Originally, City Hall also housed the Masonic Lodge, court facility, and police and fire stations. Markets Stalls were located on the first floors of the west and north wings and in the courtyard. Today, only City offices remain. On the southern half of the City Hall block is a plaza completed in 1967. Through the years, the City Hall building has undergone several interior and exterior alterations. In the late 1940s, some interior renovation took place. In 1960-61, an addition was built on City Hall, filling in the old courtyard. The building was reoriented toward the south with the new entrance facing King Street and Market Square, an open, landscape plaza with central fountain, completed in 1967 as part of the Gadsby Commercial Urban Renewal Project. Beginning in 1981, the building was renovated to link the 1871 building and the 1961 addition with new elevators, stairs and corridors. The current City Hall building houses many of the City government offices, including the second floor City Council Chambers.
The Commonwealth One Federal Credit Union maintains an automated teller machine (ATM) on the lobby level of City Hall.
City Hall is generally open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except City holidays, and from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on the Saturdays preceding the
personal property tax due date (October 5) and the
real estate tax due dates (June 15 and November 15). City Hall is also open on many evenings, for
public meetings. If you are coming to City Hall to pay a bill, please note that the City offers many other
ways to pay.
Alexandria, founded in 1749, has a fascinating history, and many of its historic buildings are still preserved today. During its long history, Alexandria was a tobacco trading post, one of the ten busiest ports in America, a part of the District of Columbia, home to both the largest slave-trading firm in the country and a large free-black community, a Civil War supply center for Union troops, and a street-car suburb for Federal workers. Alexandria was also the hometown of George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Jim Morrison and "Mama" Cass Elliot. For detailed information on City's history, visit the Historic Alexandria web page.