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BUILDING AND LAND RESOURCES

LOCAL HISTORY/SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

 

GUIDES AND INDEXES

 

The Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections has 10,000 photographs in its collections ranging from 19th century daguerrotypes to images made by professional photographers still in practice.

 

This collection is used to study the history of structures in Alexandria. Building and Repair Permits were first issued in the City of Alexandria, ca. 1891 and are useful to today's homeowner or researcher who is preparing a history of the property.

 

Building and Repair Permits were first issued in the City of Alexandria, ca. 1891 and are useful to today's homeowner or researcher who is preparing a history of the property. These nearly 3400 permits cover the period ca. 1896-1928. There are a very few permits in the collection prior to 1896. The index is organized alphabetically by street name and then numerically by house number. 

 

Digital images of Old Town property tax documents from the 1960s.

 

 

ALEXANDRIA HOUSE HISTORY

 

The Alexandria Library's Special Collections division has a wide range of resources available to help you investigate the history of your home. Using both primary and secondary sources, you can uncover information about past owners, property values, alterations and improvements, and perhaps even find a photograph or two. The sources in this guide focus primarily on Old Town Alexandria.

  
READ MORE >>
 

 

VIRGIL DAVIS DOORWAY EXHIBIT

 

The photographs in this collection were developed from glass lantern slides photographed by professional photographer and Alexandria native, Virgil Davis.

Selection of photographs of Alexandria, VA doorways, ca. 1936 - ca. 1950. This exhibit illustrates historic properties on the cusp of the preservation movement.

SEE EXHIBIT >>

 

 

HISTORIC ALEXANDRIA IMAGES

 

Below is a sampling from our several collections of materials related to the historic structures in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Researchers are advised that the intellectual content of the material included herein is drawn from historical collections and is therefore dated. For the most recent scholarship and information on any one of these or the many other historic structures in Old Town, a visit to the Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections is advised.

 

 


Alexandria Academy
400 block S. Washington St.

Arell's Tavern
Sharpshin & Market Alleys

Bank of Alexandria
133 N. Fairfax St.

Christ Church
118 N. Columbus St.

Friendship Firehouse
107 S. Alfred St.

GW Townhouse
508 Cameron St.

 

 


Franklin & Armfield
1315 Duke Street

Bruin's "Negro Jail"
1707 Duke Street

 

 


Arell's Tavern - Market Square

210 N. Fairfax St.

211 S. Washington St.

 

 


Carlyle House
100 block N. Fairfax St.

Fawcett House
517 Prince St.

Gadsby's Tavern
134 N. Royal St.

Lloyd House
220 N. Washington St.

Ramsay House
221 King St.

 

 


City Hall
300 block Cameron St.

19th Century Courthouse
300 block N. Columbus St.

Customs House
100 King St.

Jones Point Lighthouse
Potomac River

The Lyceum
201 S. Washington St.

 

Bibliography
  • Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division, Alexandria, Virginia. Blueprints Collection.
  • Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division, Alexandria, Virginia. Building and Repair Permits Collection.
  • Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division, Alexandria, Virginia. Ethelyn Cox Collection.
  • Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division, Alexandria, Virginia. Lyceum Collection.
  • Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division, Alexandria, Virginia. Photographs Collections.
  • City of Alexandria, Virginia. Department of Planning and Community Development. Design Guidelines for the Old and Historic Alexandria District and the Parker-Gray District. Alexandria, 1993.
  • Cox, Ethelyn. Historic Alexandria Virginia Street by Street; A Survey of Existing Early Buildings. Alexandria, Virginia: Historic Alexandria Foundation, 1976. Crotty, Anne R. "House Types in Old Alexandria." Master's thesis, The Catholic University of America, 1971. Mutual Assurance Society.
  • Mutual Assurance Society against Fire on Buildings in the State of Virginia. Richmond, Virginia: s.l., 1853?
  • Ring, Constance K. and Wesley E. Pippenger. Alexandria, Virginia Town Lots, 1749-1801 Together with Proceedings of the Board of Trustees, 1749-1780. Westminster, Maryland: Family Line Publications, 1995.
  • Smith, Peter H. "The Beginnings of Historic Preservation in Alexandria-Moving Toward the Creation of the Old and Historic District." The Alexandria Chronicle IV, no. 4, (1996): 1-36.
The Project Manager is indebted to the Historic Alexandria Foundation for the faith and financial support it lent this project, which we anticipate, will be but the first of many to utilize our collections. And equally, the Project Manager is grateful to the former Director of Libraries, Mr. Patrick O’Brien, and his Administrative Team for fostering the environment in which experimentation and creativity are encouraged and supported. Finally, the participation of the Special Collections Staff in developing the structure of this project and "covering the floor" while the Manager developed the database is thankfully acknowledged and appreciated.

 

A project of the Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections Branch with the support of a 1996 grant from the Historic Alexandria Foundation.

 

This project is the Library's celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of Alexandria, 1749-1999.