The 2011 Alexandria House and Garden Tour is this Saturday, April 16th from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Historic Garden Week is the oldest and largest statewide house and garden tour event in the nation.
Sponsored by The Garden Club of Virginia, the tours benefit the restoration of important historic grounds and gardens throughout the state.
Each of the three dozen events offers an engaging variety of five to six local houses and gardens, most open to the public for the first time for Garden Week.
Here is Alexandria, six private homes will be open to the public. In addition, the Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden; the Carlye House Historic Park; Mt. Vernon; the American Horticultural Society at River Farm; Woodlawn; and Gunston Hall Plantation are included in the full ticket price.
619 South Lee Street
The original structure was built around 1800 by Thomas Vowell, Jr. and later purchased by Edward Snowden, owner and editor of the Alexandria Gazette and Mayor of Alexandria. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black took ownership of the house in 1979 and lived there until his death. Features include expansive grounds with a two bedroom guest house, tennis courts, pool and a boxwood trimmed rose garden with a central fountain. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Saltonstall, owners.
420 South Fairfax Street
Built in 1856 and purchased by the current owners in 1980, this charming clapboard house combines European, American and Asian touches. The original working fireplace and and heart of pine floors are a perfect backdrop to a spiral staircase and a collection of European maps and prints. A Japanese inspired garden still leaves room for vegetables and herbs. Mr. and Mrs. Jack Clopper, owners.
605 South Lee Street
When the Niepold family bought this 1880 structure in 1934 it was still without indoor plumbing and electricity. Extensive renovations over a 40 year period included the addition of a den and kitchen and a beautiful fan light over the front door. The current occupant is also an artist who maintains a studio on the third floor. Siberian elms and perennial begonias flourish in the sun filled backyard. Mrs. William S. Hickey, owner.
210 Wilkes Street
Built in the early 1800′s, the heirs of the original owners were were John W. and Julia Thompson Burke who repurchased the home in 1852 for their maiden daughter, Miss Fanny Burke. When the house was sold in 1945 it changed from a Victorian to a Federal style exterior. The interior features trompe loeil paintings, a Frederick Remington painting and Louis Comfort Tiffany gold art glass vases. Mrs. Russell Murray, owner.
518 Duke Street
This Italian Renaissance style house was built in 1852 and is “characterized by a composite cornice and bracketing of the doorway, window architraves and cornice.” Interior designer Craig Miller of Miller McCann International was instrumental in creating a comfortable house with historic significance. An intimate garden and brick courtyard complete this impeccable home. Mrs. Mary B. O’Conner, owner.
217 North Royal
Built by master carpenter James McGuire in 1796, he occupied the house until his death at the age of 76. Subsequent owners used the Egyptian Revival style to update the house. The current residents began renovations in 1997, keeping the front facade but returning the interior to the 1790′s. The garden features cast iron fern benches, bronze statues and English boxwoods. Mrs. Nathaniel D. Chapman II, owner.
What an incredible way to see the homes and gardens that make Old Town Alexandria so very special.