Area Museums and Historical Sites

Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens is the oldest national historic preservation organization in the country, and it has always been in the forefront of the restoration field. Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in America and is open 365 days a year. Mount Vernon was the home of our first President George Washington. The grounds are well-preserved as is the home itself.

Alexandria Lyceum is a grand hall built in the late 1800’s to provide a place for lectures, scientific experiments and quiet reading. Since that time, it has been a Civil War hospital, a private home, an office building and the nation’s first Bicentennial Center. In 1985, The Lyceum became Alexandria’s History Museum, providing exhibitions, school programs, lectures and concerts, volunteer opportunities and space for rental functions for the community. The Lyceum Museum Shop carries a wide variety of maps, books, note cards and special items related to Alexandria’s history. The present-day Lyceum Company serves the museum as a membership and fund-raising organization.

Walk to Old Towne! Old Towne is filled with historic landmarks, carriage rides and walking history tours.

Just a few miles down George Washington Parkway is the nationally renown collection of museums called the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is a wonderful zoo.

Civil War enthusiasts might want to inspect Fort Willard just as President Lincoln did. Fort Willard has long since abandoned its military use and is now a quiet park like Fort Hunt.

If you are interested in architecture and local history visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House or the Woodlawn Plantation. The Collingwood Library and musuem is dedicated to providing information about our national heritage to the American Public. Collingwood is available to anyone who cares to learn of the heroic efforts made by American Patriots, particularly members of the Masonic Fraternity, in founding and developing this, the greatest nation on earth.

Collingwood is a resource as a local library but also interesting place to visit in it’s own right.

For more information or to set up an appointment call Stuart at (703)765-0300.

Pope-Leighey House

facing the home
Frank Lloyd Wright’s take on an affordable American home

Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 projects, which resulted in more than 500 completed works. Wright promoted organic architecture (exemplified by Fallingwater), was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture (exemplified by the Robie House, the Westcott House, and the Darwin D. Martin House), and developed the concept of the Usonian home (exemplified by the Rosenbaum House). His work includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also often designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass.

The house of moderate cost is not only America’s major architectural problem but the problem most difficult for her major architects. -Frank Lloyd Wright, 1936

The Pope-Leighey House, formerly known as the Loren Pope Residence, is one of three suburban homes in Virginia designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. At the Pope-Leighey House now located at a site on Woodlawn Plantation in Mount Vernon VA, Frank Lloyd Wright strived to solve this problem. Today, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House is a National Trust Historic Site, owned and operated by The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America’s communities.

Woodlawn
Inside the home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

The design follows Wright’s Usonian model of well-designed space for middle-income residents with a design that brings nature inside, using modest materials and a flat roof. This home has an L-shaped single-story floor plan with two bedrooms and a bathroom in one wing and living and dining areas in the other. At the juncture of the two wings are the home’s entrance, a study and the kitchen. To accommodate the original site’s slope, the house features two levels. The home has many interesting architectural details and furniture that was designed by Wright.

Pope-Leighey House is open to visitors from April 8 to December 20 from  Thursday through Monday. Visitors are welcomed from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tours are provided every thirty minutes with the last tour at 4:00.

Pope Leighy House exterior
The Pope Leigh House is located near Fort Belvoir and Woodlawn in the Mount Vernon District of Fairfax County VA

If you have a group of 10 of more people or have special needs, reservations are required. Please call 703.780.4000 x26333 at least 24 hours prior to the day upon which you wish to visit for reservations. While visiting Pope-Leighey, no dogs are allowed unattended on the property or in vehicles.There is parking for vehicles (with sticker) of people with disabilities near the house.

An historic site of The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Pope-Leighey relies exclusively on admissions, shop purchases and tax-deductible contributions to support its mission.

For Sale in Nearby Woodlawn VA

 

Woodlawn Plantation

Woodlawn Plantation is a 126-acre estate that was originally part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. Woodlawn is located at 9000 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, Virginia in Fairfax County near Fort Belvoir.

Woodlawn’s main Federal-style house was designed by the architect of the U.S. Capitol, Dr. William Thornton, and constructed between 1800 and 1805 for Washington’s nephew Major Lawrence Lewis and his bride, Eleanor “Nelly” Custis Lewis. During the Lewis’ years in residence, Woodlawn comprised over 2,000 acres and was worked by over 100 workers, at least 90 of whom were African American slaves.

In 1846, the Lewis’s son sold the property to two families from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the Troths and the Gillinghams, who were members of The Society of Friends (Quakers). Ethically opposed to slavery, the Troths and Gillinghams established Woodlawn as a “free labor colony,” selling lots to both free black and white farmers, and employing only free laborers to demonstrate as false the argument that the abolition of slavery would mean the death of the Southern plantation economy. This belief in liberty and equality made Woodlawn a controversial social experiment in its time and place, and its residents became a target of raids and suspicion by Confederate forces during the Civil War.

By the turn of the 20th century, Woodlawn was sadly deteriorated and, in 1896, severely damaged by a hurricane. In 1901, the playwright Paul Kester moved in — with his mother, brother and 60 cats — and began “restoring” the house to livable conditions. In 1905, Kester moved on to nearby Gunston Hall, and sold Woodlawn to Miss Elizabeth Sharpe, a Pennsylvania coal heiress who spent two decades lovingly rehabilitating Woodlawn and its grounds to suit contemporary views of an ideal early American estate. Woodlawn’s final private owners were Senator and Mrs. Oscar Underwood of Alabama. Following Mrs. Underwood’s death, it was purchased by a private organization to ensure its preservation. In 1952, Woodlawn became the first historic site owned by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information call (703) 780-4000 or visit  www.woodlawn1805.org

Homes for Sale near Woodlawn Plantation