National at Park Place

6001 Archstone Way, Alexandria, Virginia, 22310, United States
National at Park Place
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The "back porch"The "back porch"

So that's why I like this place...So that's why I like this place...

Union Street EntranceUnion Street Entrance

InsideInside

Travel Tips for Alexandria

Historic Buildings of Old Town Alexandria

by Ewingjr98

The Historic Alexandria Foundation's Historic Buildings Survey places small oval plaques on historic structures throughout Alexandria, VA. The vast majority of these buildings are located on Fairfax St near the water, on Duke Street, and on Cameron Street.

The Historic Alexandria Foundation was created in 1954 "to preserve, protect and restore structures of historic and architectural interest in and associated with the City of Alexandria, Virginia, to preserve antiquities and generally to foster and promote interest in Alexandria's heritage."

The first citywide historic survey was undertaken by this foundation in 1960 which resulted in the first round of plaque placement, and also led to a book about the historic properties of Alexandria, called Historic Alexandria, Street by Street. The plaque initiative continues today as a program that recognizes 100 year old buildings which retain an integrity of historic architectural features.

The Foundation's map of historic buildings with plaques is available at their website (http://www.historicalexandriafoundation.org/plaques/map.aspx).


Many of these historic homes also have cast-iron fire shields on the front walls. These date from the 19th Century and were used to show that the owner had paid one of the local fire companies to respond in case of fire. Presumably, houses without shields would be allowed to burn...

Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

by Ewingjr98

A local non profit group called the Ballyshaners hosts the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Alexandria. For the last 20 years the parade has marched down King Street, with high school bands, fire trucks, police motorcycles, clowns, bagpipers, zem zems, and much more... basically your regular small-town parade next to the nation's capitol. The parade is held two weekends before St. Patrick's Day and the week before the Washington DC St. Patrick's Day Parade.

We planned to meet some friends at Chadwick's for brunch and didn't even know there was a parade getting ready to start. Then we had hundreds of families with strollers blocking all sidewalks in what looked like a political protest, but we managed to squeeze through until the double-wide twins strollers showed up on one side and the man with two kids on leashes on the other side blocked all of the sidewalk and nearly all of the street. We were stuck... we had to watch the parade.

OK, we escaped, but I have to ask, why would you bring a stroller into Old Town's narrow, crowded sidewalks?

Woodlawn & Pope Leighey House

by Ewingjr98

George Washington's Woodlawn Plantation was originally part of Mount Vernon and today covers 126 acres. It was built just after Washington's death by his nephew Major Lawrence Lewis and his wife Eleanor “Nelly” Custis Lewis. At its peak, the estate comprised over 2000 acres and had some 90 slaves. In 1846 the plantation was actually sold to Quakers who refused to employ slaves, and actually sold land to to both black and white farmers in an effort to disprove the necessity of slavery. The National Trust for Historic Preservation took ownership of Woodlawn in 1952 and was the organization's first property.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House was constructed in 1936 for journalist Loren Pope as an effort to create a modern and affordable American architectural style. The second owner, Mrs. Marjorie Leighey, donated the house to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and it was moved from its original location in Falls Church, Virginia, to the present site just a few hundred yards from Woodlawn.

There is a fee to enter the houses, but you can wander the grounds for free.

Try the active visit. ...

by Dodin

Try the active visit. Alexandria and Washington DC are great for active people. For example, take the bike path from old town all the way south to Mount Vernon (George Washington's home) for a beautiful ride/jog/skate. Or take the path north to Washington DC and tour the city on bike or skates. the path goes along the potomac river and offers some beautiful views of the nation's capital.

Cross the River to Fort Washington Nat'l Park, MD

by Ewingjr98

Fort Washington National Park lies along the Potomac River in Maryland, opposite Virginia's Fort Hunt and Mount Vernon. From Mount Vernon Highway you have several scenic overlooks providing excellent views of the fort and the lighthouse across this relatively narrow neck of the river.

The original Fort Washington was completed in 1809 as the primary defensive position protecting the new national capitol. During the War of 1812, the fort was destroyed by its American garrison during the British advance on Washington to prevent its capture. Fort Washington was reconstructed in 1824 with extensive remodeling in the 1840s and 1890s.

The fort is a stone structure with excellent firing lanes down the Potomac River. It was turned over to the Department of the Interior in 1946 after the Army closed the garrison. The park grounds have hiking and bicycle paths and picnic areas.

The Fort Washington Light, located below the fort, was established in 1857. The current tower was constructed in 1882, and it stands 28 feet tall.

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