For Immediate Release: April 27, 2017
The City of Alexandria has acquired the historic Murray-Dick-Fawcett House in Old Town. The property, at 517 Prince St., is one of the earliest homes in the city and possibly the least-altered 18th century home in Northern Virginia.
No City funds were used to purchase the $1.25 million property. The City used grants from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation ($900,000) and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation ($350,000), along with an equity donation by the home’s former owner, to acquire the site.
The 0.3-acre lot, which contains the 245-year-old timber frame and brick dwelling, and a small garden, was one of the few buildings in existence in the area during the American Revolution. The house has been recognized by local historians as a “fascinating microcosm of the complete single family dwelling, containing in addition to the usual living, dining and bedrooms, a kitchen; a necessary (bathroom); rooms for slaves or servants; and storage rooms, all under one roof.”
The property is to be used in perpetuity as a historic vest-pocket park and garden, creating new open space in Old Town and preserving this nationally significant architectural and cultural resource for residents and visitors. The former owner has tenancy in the house for his lifetime, with public access for special events throughout the year. In the future, the house will be operated as an educational center focused on domestic life in Alexandria during the 18th and 19th centuries.