Historic Alexandria is a treasure trove of early buildings that creates a unique way of life for its citizens and provides enjoyment for thousands of people who visit this special community every year.
As you admire Old Town houses, know that there are special responsibilities involved in maintaining the delicate balance between the realities of modern life and the perishable beauty of our architectural heritage. Each owner becomes an important link between yesterday and tomorrow, and has the privilege and obligation of preserving this heritage. The facades of these historic houses and other buildings are protected by law. Owners wishing to make exterior changes must present their plans to the city's Board of Architectural Review (BAR) for approval. In the years since establishment of the Historic District and the architectural review process, many valuable structures have been saved from demolition and inappropriate alteration.
The unique pleasures of living in an older building extend beyond the facade. Interior change, while incorporating modern conveniences, should preserve the original fabric and character of the building.
The Historic Alexandria Foundation can provide valuable advice and assistance in this process. Founded in 1954, the Foundation is a volunteer organization that promotes interest in Alexandria s heritage through its plaque program, publications, easements and grants.