HAF Plaque Program
The Foundation’s Historic Plaque Program was initiated during the 1960s when the survival of downtown Alexandria was threatened by the Federal Urban Renewal Program. It was based upon a similar program in Philadelphia of marking historic structures that were threatened with demolition, and thereby raising public awareness of surviving early buildings.
Today, an HAF bronze plaque on a house is a symbol that the owners of these special houses are stewards of Alexandria's architectural heritage. Buildings throughout the city that are one hundred years old, and which retain their architectural integrity, may be eligible for a plaque. The plaques may be awarded after an inspection by an independent consulting architect or architectural historian, using the criteria below. The Foundation’s objective is to increase the number of plaques on qualifying properties in Alexandria.
Criteria for Awarding Plaques
The building must be at least one hundred years old, as documented by a combination of records (title search, tax records, wills, etc.).
The principal facades of the building visible from the street or any public right of way must maintain integrity of form, materials, and architectural features consistent with the dominant period of the building.
Here are some examples of the application of these standards:
All windows must have true divided lights appropriate to the period of the structure.
Download the Plaque Application (PDF)
Download the Plaque Application (Word)
Excel spreadsheet with all HAF plaques and details
Go to the Plaque Agreement
Shutters must be appropriate to the style of the structure and must be operable.
Artificial materials, including artificial siding of any type, are prohibited.
Buildings of the late 19th and early 20th century with pressed brick and terra cotta facades should not be painted, without conclusive evidence that they originally were painted.
Prominent features, such as historic doors, front porches and stoops, and dormers significantly affect the appearance of a building. If such an element is missing and is known to have existed, or is present in a manner inappropriate to the period (or early evolution) and style of the structure, then the building may not qualify for a historic plaque unless appropriate restoration is undertaken.
Lighting fixtures and house numerals should be in scale and appropriate to the period of the structure.
Note: Where a single eligible building has been subdivided, the Foundation will consider granting separate plaques to individual units, provided such units have separate entrances and street numbers.