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Old Town Alexandria

Zip Code 22314

Offering 250-year-old brick-paved streets lined with 18th-and 19th-century architecture, Old Town Alexandria quintessential urban living.

Laid out in 1749, Old Town Alexandria was home to George Washington and one of the earliest and most important seaports of the colonial era.  Today it teems with boutique shopping, acclaimed dining, and vibrant nightlife.

Old Town was recently names as one of 12 “Distinctive Destinations” for 2011 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Alexandria Neighborhoods: Scriptorium in Old Town is Closing After 38 Years

We are sad to say that one of our favorite Old Town stores, Scriptorium, is closing at the end of August after 38 years in the same location.

X-Store-Sign

As owner Judy Shavin, a model of manners and decorum noted, “It’s just time.”

Judy Shavin

Judy Shavin

 

In a missive sent to all her customers,  Judy noted that she will entertain serious buyers  with the hope that someone would “carry on the traditions of proper etiquette, good taste and personalized service.”

But, if you are interested, there is no time to waste!

In stock merchandise is already half price and fixtures and props will go on sale August 19.

Thank you Judy for being an oasis of civility in a world that is often sadly lacking.  We’ll miss you!

The very best on your new Florida adventure

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Open Houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria in Zip Codes 22301 and 22314

Want to go house hunting before the big rains move in today? Check out these open houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria for zip codes 22301 and 22304.

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Click here for more information:

http://mrislistings.mris.com/DE.asp?k=1211710XXR2T&p=DE-246834652-144

Michael

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Open Houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria in Zip Codes 22301 and 22414 for July 20

It’s a big weekend for Open Houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria (zip codes 22301 and 22314) with some 60 houses available to see.  And just over 11 of those are in the million dollar range!

openhousestarburst

Click here to see what’s available zip codes 22301 and 22314 :
http://mrislistings.mris.com/DE.asp?k=1211710XXR2T&p=DE-245958373-591.

Want to know more about these listings?  Give me a call at 703.927.4554 and I’ll give you all the details.

Michael

 

Real Estate with Integrity

 

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Open Houses in Del Ray and Old Town Alexandria at Zip Codes 22301 and 22314 for July 13

Looking for open houses in the Del Ray or Old Town areas of Alexandria on Sunday, July 13?

 

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There are 20+ open houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria this weekend. Check out the following listings in zip codes 22301 and 22314.


http://mrislistings.mris.com/DE.asp?k=1211710XXR2T&p=DE-245006132-510

 

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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City of Alexandria Celebrates 262nd Birthday on Saturday, June 9

In a long standing tradition, the City of Alexandria will celebrate it’s own birthday (262 years) and the nation’s birthday (235 years) this Saturday, June 9th.

We’re not exactly sure how this post Fourth of July celebration got started (or why) but it’s been going on for as long as we have lived in the area,

So, if you missed the Fourth or just didn’t want to fight the crowds downtown, make your way to Oronoco Bay Park along Alexandria’s waterfront between 4:00 and 10:00pm.  The celebration includes children’s activities, community exhibits and birthday cake.

X SparklerThe highlight of the evening is a concert by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, topped off with Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”  and fireworks. “Cannon support” will be supplied by the United States Marine Corps, Basic Training School, Quantico, VA at 9:30 p.m.

In the event of inclement weather, fireworks only will be rescheduled for Sunday, July 10 at 9:30 p.m.

Oronoco Bay Park has lawn seating, and visitors are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. Ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, shaved ice and kettle corn will be available for purchase or bring your own.  (No is grilling allowed however.)

Visitors to the historic district are encouraged bike, walk or take the Metrorail Yellow or Blue lines to the King Street Station and take King Street Trolley to the unit block of King St., a short walk to Oronoco Bay Park. The King Street Trolley will operate until midnight for individuals wishing to return to the King Street Metro following the celebration.

Michael

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Easter 2011 at Historic Christ Church in Old Town Alexandria

Following a week of cold, wet weather, Easter Sunday dawned clear and warm at Historic Christ Church in Old Town Alexandria.

The Wine Glass Pulpit at Christ Church

The Wine Glass Pulpit at Christ Church

Small baskets in the side windows

Small baskets in the side windows

Larger baskets in the Palladin windows flanking the pulpit

Larger baskets in the Palladin windows flanking the pulpit

And flowering trees and flowers everywhere in the church yard

And flowering trees and flowers everywhere in the church yard

Over a 1,000 visitors and congregation members attended four services beginning with the 7:30am.

Michael

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March 2011 Housing Prices in Zip Code 22314 – Old Town Alexandria and Potomac Greens

Today we are looking at the March 2011 Housing Prices in Zip Code 22314 which includes Old Town Alexandria and Potomac Green. (These numbers do not include condominium sales.)

The first thing that struck me about this chart was the consistency in the number of sales over a five year period.  Prices and days on the market have been up and down but the number of sales has held steady.

March

Zip Code 22301

No. of Homes Sold

Average  List

Price

Average Sold Price

Days on Market

Mar 2011

26

$668,228

$654,935

70

Mar 2010

25

$771,088

$695,396

67

Mar 2009

20

$517,472

$596,508

71

Mar 2008

20

$692,560

$670.345

94

Mar 2007

25

$787,704

$740,040

140

As always, each month’s sales are dependent on multiple factors including the amount of inventory, the number of priced-to-sell homes, the number of qualifying buyers, etc. etc.

For more information on properties in Old Town Alexandria, give me a call at 703.927.4554.

Michael

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2011 Alexandria House and Garden Tour

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

619 South Lee Street

619 South Lee Street

Vowell-Snowden House

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

420 South Fairfax Street

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

605 South Lee Street

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

210 Wilkes Street

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

518 Duke Street

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.

Garden Wall at 217 North Royal

Garden Wall at 217 North Royal

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.

Michael

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The Scriptorium in Old Town Alexandria for Wedding Invitations and More

Let me start by saying that I love beautiful stationery.  Small sheets, folded notes, correspondence cards, calling cards – you name it, I love it.  Engraved?  Even better.

Scriptorium

Scriptorium

Imagine my delight then in finding the Scriptorium in Old Town Alexandria.  Tucked away in Norford Court off Cameron Street (just behind City Hall), the Scriptorium is a destination shop for anyone who wants expert advice, personal service, quality materials and a beautiful, beautiful product.

X JudyThe Scriptorium is also one of the oldest independently owned businesses in Old Town.

Proprietor Judy Shavin opened her store in 1976 after her presidential candidate lost and dashed her plans to work in the White House.

Casting about for an entrepreneurial opportunity, Judy was encouraged to open a cigar store, a children’s clothing store or a store for fine writing papers.  The first two options held no appeal but the third suggestion was right on the mark.

Judy did her homework, took classes at the Small Business Administration, made friends with savvy retailers and, although she lives in the District, cast her lot in Alexandria.

When asked about the biggest change in the past 35 years, the answer was easy – the use of reply cards and envelopes with wedding invitations rather than the expectation of a handwritten response.

What about etiquette questions around the proliferation of blended families and ‘interesting’ family dynamics?  Judy modestly says she is still learning and sensitive questions see her through.

Her best seller?  Anything by Crane.  Why?  Because Crane is 100% rag content.  In other words, the paper is not made from trees but from cotton fibers.  Wonderfully heavy, ecologically friendly and simply classic.

X Wall of Invitations

Judy’s infallible reference is Crane’s Book of Etiquette and her business philosophy is to treat her customers the same way she would like to be treated.

Having gone in for a box of Crane’s envelopes and walked out with an order for engraved correspondence cards, I would say that Judy’s philosophy is working just fine.

X Small round tables

So whether you need wedding invitations, save the date cards, birth announcements, party invitations, guest books or personal stationery, the Scriptorium should be your destination.

Expect understated, elegant and tasteful, just like Judy herself.   In the all too frequent world of email invites or worse, the Scriptorium is a beacon of light.

Virginia Amos

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New Harris Teeter in Old Town Alexandria?

Rumor has it that negotiations are underway for a new Harris Teeter in Old Town Alexandria.

An old, long abandoned warehouse at the corner of St. Aspah and Madison (and directly across from our favorite Royal Restaurant) is the supposed site.

DSCN3414This would put three grocery chains within six blocks of each other – Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter and Giant.

Earlier, now abandoned, plans called for a location on North Henry that would have served the Parker Gray and Braddock neighborhoods.

According to the Parker Gray Growl, the new location is “in an area that at present has no greater density than the Braddock neighborhood and which already has two operating and competing grocery stores.

This seems to demolish the City’s contradictory defenses that retail is difficult to attract here due to competition from King Street and Potomac Yard or that that only ever high-density development can bring enough residents to support retail.”

It will be interesting to see what happens.

Michael

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