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What’s New in Historic Alexandria? | News Release | City of Alexandria

Fort WardImplementation of the recently approved Fort Ward Park Management Plan is proceeding, with the creation of a new Ad Hoc Fort Ward Management Plan Implementation Monitoring Group by the Alexandria City Council on June 10. The charge of work for this group will be to:

  1. Provide staff of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA), Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA), and Transportation and Environmental Services (T&ES) with recommendations  for the implementation of the approved Implementation Plan;
  2. Review and monitor implementation projects for consistency with the approved Plan;
  3. Provide recommendations on park uses/operations for consistency with the approved Plan; and
  4. Participate in the development of an annual update on Plan implementation.

Membership of the group will be comprised of one member of City Council appointed by the Mayor to act as the convener of the Monitoring Group, and ten stakeholders appointed by the City Manager, including representatives from the Park and Recreation Commission; the Historic Alexandria Resource Commission; the Alexandria Archaeology Commission; the Environmental Policy Commission; the Oakland Baptist Church; the Fort Ward descendant community; the Seminary Civic Association; the Seminary Hills Civic Association; and an “at large” representative who has shown a knowledge and keen interest in Fort Ward. The approved FY 2016-FY 2025capital program for Fort Ward includes $1,395,000 for implementation of the Management Plan, including $200,000 in FY 2016 to support the implementation efforts.  In addition, $500,000 in prior year stormwater funding is available for the identified drainage improvements.

Last week, City staff placed stakes along an alignment in Fort Ward Park to highlight a corridor where future archaeological investigations may occur, before a permanent route for stormwater drainage is finalized. If burials or other cultural resources are identified within the area of the corridor to be investigated, the drainage route will be relocated so that such features are not impacted. The planned route will also further research the grave of an animal and a possible desecrated gravesite containing wooden elements that may have been from a coffin bottom, identified in an earlier investigation. These two features were discovered adjacent to an old farm roadway that was apparently graded and built through an open field before 1927, as indicated on the earliest known aerial photograph of the area. Both former and current City Archaeologists, Pam Cressey and Francine Bromberg respectfully, have  confirmed that while various theories have been conjectured of what these features are, and how they came to be there, no formal research or determinations have yet been made concerning these two burials, which are isolated from others within the park.

Tuesday, June 16 – Historic Alexandria Resources Commission
Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street
Regular monthly meeting. For further information, please call 703-746-4554.

Wednesday, June 17 – Alexandria Archaeological Commission
Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 North Union Street, #327
Regular monthly meeting. For further information, please call 703-746-4399.

Sandra Y. JohnsonThursday, June 18 – A Jazzy June Concert-Sandra Y Johnson Sextet
Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 North Fairfax Street
June is African-American Music Appreciation month, and Carlyle House and Alexandria’s Black History Museum will be co-hosting talented local artists to celebrate the roots of this music! Join on the Magnolia Terrace in the gardens of Carlyle House for the DuPont Brass, a local group from Howard University that will be performing. This energetic and youthful group of musicians is self-described as “a new, innovative brass band.” The concert on takes place on the eve of “Juneteenth,” one of the oldest celebrations commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.  Free! 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, please visit www.carlylehouse.org  or call 703.549.1749.

Caroline JanneyThursday, June 18– Civil War Lecture by Caroline Janney
The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 S. Washington Street
This spring, we turn our attention to the end of the Civil War, and its aftermath . . . the ways that Americans viewed the struggle by 1865, and began to form their own understanding of it even as veterans were still returning from battlefields. How would the nation heal this great wound, and HAS it entirely healed 150 years later? This engaging presentation will be held in the Lecture Hall of The Lyceum — Alexandria’s History Museum., and seating is limited.
A $5 donation is suggested. 7:30 to 9 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4994.

Sunday, June 21 – Civil War Sunday

Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 North Union Street, #327
Explore the Civil War in Alexandria with Civil War Sundays.  See an original May 26, 1861, edition ofThe New-York Tribune detailing Colonel Elmer Ellsworth’s death in Alexandria, a Peeps diorama illustrating Ellsworth’s death, a TimeTravelers Passport exhibit featuring the Civil War drummer boy, a diorama of a heating system constructed in Alexandria to warm Civil War hospital tents during the winter of 1861, a cocked and loaded Wickham musket discarded in a privy during the 1860s, and an exhibit on a Lee Street archaeological site during the Civil War. Free!  1 to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit www.alexandriaarchaeology.org or call 703.746.4399.

Sunday, June 21 – Free Father’s Day Tours at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
Celebrate with your favorite father at the place where the Father of our Country ate, drank, and influenced history. Gadsby’s Tavern Museum is pleased to offer free tours by our Junior Docents on Father’s Day for all visiting fathers! Free for Dads! $5 for all other adults and $3 for children (ages 5 -12). 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit www.gadsbystavern.org or call 703.746.4242.

Sunday, June 21 – Free Father’s Day Tours at Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 South Fairfax Street
The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum is pleased to offer free tours on Father’s Day for all visiting fathers! Free for Dad, $5 for all other adults and $3 for children (ages 5 -12). 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit www.apothecarymuseum.org or call 703.746.3852.

Friendship FirehouseSunday, June 21 – Free Father’s Day Tours at Friendship Firehouse Museum
Friendship Firehouse Museum, 107 South Alfred Street
The firehouse photographer will be on duty, so dads can take home a complimentary photograph. Come have a family portrait taken alongside the historic equipment that fought fires in early 19th – century Alexandria. See the locally-made hose reel, and find out about artifacts such as hose buckets and axes. Youngsters will also receive a fire hat of their very own. Free for Fathers and their families! 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, please visit www.friendshipfirehouse.net or call 703.746.4994.

Monday, June 22 –  Gary Stephans’ Art of Ballroom Dance
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Fun classes to learn to dance or improve your dancing skills: fox trot, waltz, tango, swing, salsa, merengue, rumba, cha-cha, and samba. All level of dancers are welcome, with or without a partner. Discover little techniques that most people never learn about and become a relaxed and proficient social dancer in these small, personalized dance lessons! Tickets are available for each sessiononline as follows: Basic Techniques, $15 per person, 7 to 7:45 p.m.; Advanced Techniques, $15 per person, 7:45 to 8:30 p.m.; attend both sessions for best results! Free practice session from 8:30 to 9 pm. For more information, please visit garystephans@me.com or call 703-505-5998.

Now on Exhibit through July 19 – Saturate / Stephen Estrada, Naomi Janchs, Abby Kasonik, Hannele Lahti, Eve Stockton, Thomas Teasley
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Using paint, photography, printmaking, glass and sound/video, six very different artists convey a sense of watery wetness in Saturate. Each artist not only manages to portray a sense of liquidness — whether realistically or abstractly — but in combination their works bathe viewers in the sensation. Free! Open Thursday through Sunday, 12 Noon to 4 p.m. For more information, please visitwww.nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

Freedmen CemeteryNow on Exhibit – Journey to Be Free: Alexandria Freedmen’s Cemetery 
Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street 
A new exhibit tracing the 150-year history of the long-forgotten Freedmen’s Cemetery, its rediscovery and how the new Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial was created at the site.  Free, but donations are appreciated. Tuesday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday and Monday: Closed.  For more information, please call 703.746.4356.

Now on Exhibit – Their Fates Intertwined: The Lees of Alexandria in the War of 1812 
Lee-Fendall House and Gardens, 614 Oronoco Street 
A new exhibit on the experiences of the Lee family in Alexandria during the War of 1812 examines the contributions of Alexandria’s citizens during the conflict that led to the writing of our national anthem through the lives of this iconic Virginia family. For further information, please visitwww.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

Now on Exhibit – Fifty Years of Collecting: An Anniversary Exhibit of Objects from the Fort Ward Collection 
Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Fort Ward Museum & Historic Park, this new exhibition offers a glimpse into the growth and holdings of the Museum’s fine Civil War collection.The exhibit features some rare items related to the Defenses of Washington, such as an 1862 panoramic drawing of Fort Albany by the soldier-artist William Lydston, a folding camp chair that belonged to an officer in the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, and a Lambley’s portable copying machine used by an officer from the 57th Massachusetts Infantry.   Objects that interpret the Union occupation of Alexandria, such as a proclamation declaring martial law in the city, are also featured.  Examples of newly acquired objects are a field desk with personal belongings owned by a captain in the 107th New York Infantry, and a John Rogers statuary group, “Uncle Ned’s School,” which aimed to portray the efforts of newly freed African Americans to better their lives through education in the postwar years.

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the extensive network of Union forts and batteries known as the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Free! Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.   For more information, please call 703.746.4848, or visit www.fortward.org.

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