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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Historical District in Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

George Washington Memorial Parkway

City of Alexandria Est. 1749

 
 
George Washington Memorial Parkway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
1. George Washington Memorial Parkway Marker
Inscription.  A visit to George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, about nine miles to the south, has long been viewed as a patriotic duty of Americans. In the late 19th century, visitors often traveled there from Washington by boat, stopping first in Alexandria. By 1887, Alexandria business leaders established a "Mount Vernon Avenue Association" to lobby for construction of a federal roadway to reach the estate. As conceived, the park-like boulevard would travel south from Alexandria, passing through a rural area of woodlands and scenic vistas. This route would periodically incorporate a series of landscaped pavilions and monuments, where visitors would learn the history, industry and people associated with each of the 13 original states. But in the years just before the 20th century, a trolley line was built, passing through downtown Alexandria and providing inexpensive travel to Mount Vernon, thwarting the roadway plan.

The road proposal lagged for many years until a plan was developed in the 1920s to build a highway from Arlington's Memorial Bridge to Mount Vernon, to be called Mount Vernon Boulevard. After consideration of two routes, one along
George Washington Memorial Parkway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
2. George Washington Memorial Parkway Marker
an inland ridge of high ground, the other along the edge of the Potomac, the latter route was selected, using the old trolley right-of-way. The proposal was revised to commemorate the 200th birthday of the nation's first president in 1932, and renamed the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Within the City of Alexandria, the parkway travels the same path as historic Washington, Street, laid out in 1749. Nearly 200 years later, in 1946, the City Council established the "Old and Historic Alexandria District", America's third municipal historic district, in part to protect the commemorative nature of the parkway.

Cover of 1907 Tercentennial Souvenir Illustrated Guide
A view of the proposed Mount Vernon Avenue can be seen on the cover of this commemorative book, which was produced to honor the 300th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in 1607. Starting at the U. S. Capitol in the upper left-hand corner, the proposed roadway slices on a diagonal across the cover and through Alexandria, to Mount Vernon at the lower right.

(captions)
G.W. Memorial Parkway Map circa 1932
G.W. Memorial Parkway aerial view
Bridge over Hunting Creek
 
Erected by City of Alexandria.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational Areas
George Washington Memorial Parkway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
3. George Washington Memorial Parkway Marker
Roads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Virginia, The City of Alexandria series list.
 
Location. 38° 48.309′ N, 77° 2.827′ W. Marker is in the Historical District in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of King Street (Virginia Route 7) and North Washington Street (Virginia Route 400), on the right when traveling west on King Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 106 North Washington Street, Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Alexandria Lyceum (a few steps from this marker); Lee-Fendall House (within shouting distance of this marker); Timberman Brothers (within shouting distance of this marker); Dr. Bernard Stier, O.D. (1930-2005) (within shouting distance of this marker); Christ Church (within shouting distance of this marker); The Methodist Episcopal Congregation of Alexandria (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Retail in Alexandria (about 300 feet away); Confederate Soldiers (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Historical District.
 
George Washington Memorial Parkway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
4. George Washington Memorial Parkway Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 31, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 117 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 31, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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May. 28, 2020