Alexandria City Hall and Market Square

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301 King Street, Alexandria, VA, USA

Alexandria City Hall and Market Square Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
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Alexandria City Hall and Market Square Aug 09, 2012
City Hall sits in the very heart of Old Town on King Street. While there is no need to go inside the building unless you have to pay a parking ticket, the site itself is steeped in history. A market opened in 1749 followed by a new courthouse for Fairfax County in 1752. British troops under Gen. Edward Braddock drilled on the site of Market Square in 1755 before heading west for battle in the French and Indian War.

After Alexandria became part of the District of Columbia, the court house was replaced in 1817 with a city hall designed by Benjamin Latrobe, the original architect for the U.S. Capitol. When fire destroyed the structure in 1871, the current building emerged under the auspices of German-born Adolf Cluss, who also designed Eastern Market and the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building next to the Castle in D.C. Cluss combined the then popular Second Empire style with a replica of Latrobe's clock tower from the previous city hall. The building also housed the police and fire departments as well as the local jail.

At one point Market Square was home to the second largest slave auction site in the country. Today it hosts a farmers' market on Saturday mornings. Tour busses regularly drop people off in front of the square to go sightseeing or grab lunch in the many nearby restaurants. If you are in the area, take a few moments to stroll around the fountain and ponder its long history. Several historical places such as Gadsby's Tavern and the Carlisle House (British military headquarters during the French and Indian War) are either next door or a short walk away.
City Hall and Market Square
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