Posted by Alexandria on 1/22/2003 12:01:08 PM

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ESTABLISHED IN 1749, Alexandria was a major southern seaport Virginia's center for commerce and culture. Today, walking the tree-shaded, cobblestone and brick streets of Old Town, we feel the city's 18th and 19th Century history and heritage come alive. The ghosts of the past mingle amicably with the sophistication of the '90s in a colorful and truly diverse bazaar of shops and boutiques, art and craft galleries, and restaurants. Window shopping and browsing, strolling and people watching is a delightful way to spend a day or days. Make one of your first stops the Visitors Center of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Bureau, at 221 King Street. As a guest, you will be given insights and recommendations as well as a reduced rate block ticket to five of the "must-see" historic properties: Gadsby's Tavern, Carlyle House, Robert E. Lee's boyhood home, the Lee- Fendall House, and the Stabler-Leadbetter Apothecary Shop.

The Quality of Life:Art and artists abound in Alexandria. Scores of individual galleries are spread around Old Town, and many of the other shops carry objects d'art and crafts as well. Also in Old Town is the Athenaeum, home of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association, which has exhibits open to the public, and the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Working under the aegis of the Alexandria Bicentennial Commission and the city government, area artists established in 1974 a self-supporting site for studio work and sales, renovating and painting the former factory that became a drawing card for Alexandria's historic waterfront renova- tion.

Concerts are presented by such local groups as the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, the Alexandria Choral Society, and the Alexandria Community Singers. Drama productions are put on by the Little Theatre of Alexandria, among others. In addition to these ongoing activities) there are a number of special events over the course of the year. One of the nation's largest parades honoring George Washing- ton is held in February. In April, privately- owned homes and gardens are opened for a special tour.

A two-day celebration of Alexandria's Celtic heritage, the Virginia Scottish Games, takes place in July. The year closes with a candlelight Christmas tour of several historic properties.

Economic Development :The Alexandria Economic Development Program has contributed much to a new image for the city. For example, more than 300 trade and professional associations have chosen Alexandria as the site of their head- quarters. They enjoy a convenient location but with rents much lower than in the District. Alexandria is attracting archaeological as well as architectural attention. Restored Lift Lock Number One, the terminus of the 19th Century canal which once linked Alexandria to Georgetown, is a feature of the Trans-Potomac Canal Center complex. In a noteworthy move in 1989, the City Council adopted an ordinance requiring developers to make archaeological and his- torical studies and preserve important arti- facts before breaking ground at sites in 11 designated areas

Housing The selection of housing in Alexandria is as widespread as your preference in architec- ture, your life style, your finances. You may choose from garden and high rise, new and restored townhouses, semi-detached bunga- lows, brick or frame traditionals. Colonials or ramblers or split-levels in newly devel- oped subdivisions, rambling Victorians, and mini-plantations. Old Town is a registered national land- mark with some 1,000 preserved and restored 18th and 19th Century buildings. In recent years, townhouse mews have joined the area, carefully designed to share the visual effect of this colonial community.

Places of Worship: I Anglican, 2 Assembly of God, 16 Baptist, 14 Catholic, 2 Christian and Missionary Alliance, 3 Christian Disciples of Christ, 3 Christian Science, I Church of Christ, I Church of God, 20 Episcopal, I Holiness, 3 Independent Fundamentalist, 4 Interdenominational, 2 Jehovah's Witnesses, I Latter Day Saints, 12 Lutheran, 32 Methodist, 4 Nazarene, 2 Non-Denominational, 2 Pentecostal, 14 Presbyterian, 3 Seventh-Day Adventist, 3 Synagogues, 2 Unitarian-Universalist, 2 United Church of Christ, 2 Wesleyan.

Colleges: Marymount University (coed), George Mason University School of Law. University of Virginia exten- sion courses offered along with continuing education program also provided in county. Campus of Northern Virginia Community College nearby.

Recreational Facilities: 906.1 acres of park and recreation include 2 regional parks, Upton Hill, in both Arlington and Fairfax counties, and Potomac Overlook, a 100-acre nature preserve on the Potomac Palisades. New section of Washington & Old Dominion bike trail along Four Mile Run. In addition there are school athletic grounds, 79 play- grounds, 2 nature centers, picnic areas, 88-mile hiker-biker route and famous rose gulden at Bon Air Park, also featur- ing azaleas and miniature roses. County has 112 tennis courts, 67 basketball courts, 3 year-round public swimming pools, all types of male and female leagues for baseball, football, basketball, etc., and 13 community recreation centers. Senior adult programs in 10 community centers, 2 private golf clubs. Information: (703) 228-4747,

Emergency Veterinaiy Service: (703) 532-4043 (SuburbanAnimal Hospital) or (703) 830-1100 (FairfaxShelter).

Shopping: There are many neighborhood shopping areas including major shopping malls.

Type of City and Homes Available: Alexandria, settled in the early days of our nation, is extremely rich in history. Geoige Washington helped lay out the town lots; it was the boyhood home of General Robert E. Lee, and there are historic sites by the dozen. Bounded by the Potomac River, Alexandria was a port until the late 1880s. Lift Lock Number One, the terminus of the Alexandria Canal that from 1843 to 1886 linked with the C&0 Canal in Georgetown, was restored for the TransPotomac Canal Center on the waterfront. Alexandria boasts a great number and variety of housing units, including single-family homes (detached or townhouse style), garden and high-rise rental apartments as well as various types of condominiums. "Old Town" detached housing in good condition starts at about $400,000 with some selling as high as $1,500,000. The antique townhouses in this section are priced from about $280,000 to $1,000,000. More modem sections of the city include a great range: from $200,000 row-houses to townhouses in the western area from $140,000. The new garden and high-rise condominiums range from around $155,000 to $1,600,000. Apartments rent for $700 and up.

Tax Situation: Homes are assessed at full fair market value. Residential utility taxes: 15% no limit on water; 16% on first $15 for gas; 16% on first $15 for electric; and 25% on charges for local telephone service. City auto decals, $25.

15,750 sq. miles
5 miles SW
10 minutes
FORM OF GOVERNMENT City Council With Manager

Public Transportation: Mecrorail service links Alexandria with downtown Washington and Maryland via either King Street, Braddock Road, Huntington or Elsenhower Avenue Metro Stations. National Airport Metro Station nearby. Virginia Rail Express (VRE) operates during rush hours to Washington DC. The city is served by more than 60 Metrobus routes. The local bus service (DASH) operates 7 days/week. Many commutes bus lines provide local and regional service.

Public Facilities and Services: Electricity, gas, water and sewer to entire city. Trash, garbage and recydables collected weekly. Citywide leaf pickup in the fall and cleanup in the spring. Recycling drop-off centers are located throughout the city. 283 police officers operate from single headquarters station. 97 uniformed firefighters, 17 volunteers, and 40 paramedics operate from a total of 8 stations. Over 356,648 volume public library with 3 branches, open 7 days a week. The central library features a special business and research section and an extensive Virginia history and genealogy section. Outreach service for the homebound including talking books is available/ Internet connection. Information: (703) 319-5900. TDD: 838-4568.

Public Schools: 13 elementary (K-5); 2 middle schools (6-8), I school for ninth graders, I senior high (10-12).Programs for the gifted and talented, homebound students, ESL and special education students. Per pupil expenditure: $10,023, enrollment: 11,360. Teacher salaiy range from $30,554 to $64,950. Approximately 90% of high school graduates enroll in post-high school training or schools. The system features all-day kindergarten, a math-science magnet school, Spanish immersion program and a multi-million dollar technology initiative with all schools and all classrooms wired direcdy to the Internet. Information: (703) 824-6665. Website:

Private and Parochial Schools: 29 nursery-kindergarten, 5 elementary, I middle, 2 secondary, 3 combined grades, 4 Catholic (3 elementary and I secondary), 4 Christian, 4 Episcopal, I Lutheran elementary.

Colleges: Campus of Northern Virginia Community College with "thrust" programs in occupational safety and human services. Information: (703) 845-6200.

Recreational Facilities: 12 playgrounds and 8 year-round community recreation centeis and 7 after-school rec centers provide comprehensive programs for all ages. Cameron Run Regional Park has the only wave pool in Northern Virginia. Tennis courts at 17 locations, 2 large public outdoor swimming pools, 4 mini-pools for children, and one large indoor pool at Chinquapin Park Rec. Center. Fort Ward Park has Civil War Fort, museum and amphitheater. Nearby Pohick Bay Regional Park offers boating, pool, golf, and picnic facilities along the Potomac shoreline. Alexandria provides a full sports program including adult co-ed programs, Little Junior and Senior League baseball, football, sofrball, basketball, T-ball, soccer, tennis, and swimming. Arts and crafts; music and drama; sum- mer concerts; puppet shows. Activities include 9 ethnic festivals at Market Square and a summer camp for handi- capped. Information: (703) 838-4343.

Places of Worship: 3 Assembly of God, 39 Baptist, I Bible, I Brethren, 8 Catholic, I Charismatic, I Christian Disciples of Christ, 3 Christian Missionaly Alliance, I Christian Science, 2 Church of Christ, 3 Church of God, 12

Emergency Veterinaiy Service: (703) 281-5121 Animal Shelter (703) 838-4775

Shopping: Complete Facilities include 19 shopping centers plus landmark Mall.Many Unique Shops in ''Old Town''