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Old Town Alexandria Row Houses Are Steeped in History


With more than 1.5 million visitors every year, Old Town Alexandria is a popular tourist destination but also offers a historic setting in which to live, work, and play.  Its charming row houses set back on cobblestone streets draw many new residents to the area every year. Most date from the 1800s, including several historic buildings that have been lovingly restored over the years to their original charm after a fire damaged a side street.  One of the better known row houses is "the Spite House" built in 1830.  Measuring just 325 feet and seven feet wide, the house features two stories and appears considerably smaller from the street than its neighbors.  Structurally, it’s more of an enclosed alley than a house — the brick walls of the houses on either side form the painted brick walls in the living room.  The house was nicknamed the Spite House after its owner, who owned an adjacent home, built it to keep horse-drawn wagons and loiterers out of his alley. Historic homes aside, Old Town Alexandria is in high demand because of its convenient location to the National Mall and downtown DC.  A number of eateries, quaint shops, and art galleries line the streets provide additional reasons to settle there.

Amenities of Old Town

The trolley will deliver you through the area free of charge as you visit the galleries, museums, boutiques, and restaurants that contribute to Old Town's unique vibe. You can start at the waterfront and end at the waterfront with quite a bit in between. The Torpedo Factory Art Center is one of the better known attractions with 80 artist studios, an archaeology museum, the Art League School and six galleries. Teaming with restaurants, nightlife, and other activities, and surrounded by 18th and 19th century buildings, Old Town Alexandria is an ideal combination of old and new.

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