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

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

Hall, Bank & Tavern

City of Alexandria Est. 1749

 
 
Hall, Bank & Tavern Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 19, 2020
1. Hall, Bank & Tavern Marker
Inscription.  
When Alexandria was founded in 1749, this corner was planned as the main intersection in the new town, with the streets named in honor of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, a major land-owner in Northern Virginia. From Cameron Street, the streets to the north and south reflect the descending order of the British monarchy by gender, as originally planned.

City Hall
By 1752, a market area and City Hall were established along the two streets on the sites so designated when Alexandria was first laid out. The tall, steepled clock tower on North Royal Street, which contrasts with the building's Second Empire-style massing and detailing, is a reconstruction of the tower designed by Benjamin H. Latrobe, which was part of Alexandria's 1817 town hall. That hall burned in 1871, necessitating construction of the current building a year later. The new building was designed by architect Adolph Cluss, a recent immigrant to Washington D.C. from Germany (where he was a friend and associate of Karl Marx), who had designed the U.S. Department of Agriculture building in 1869 and Washington's Central Market in 1870. Through
Hall, Bank & Tavern Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 19, 2020
2. Hall, Bank & Tavern Marker
the years, City Hall has undergone several alterations, including a major rehabilitation during a period of "urban renewal" in the 1960s when a paved plaza replaced the early market area and buildings along the adjacent streets.

Bank of America
On the opposite side of North Fairfax Street is the second location of the Bank of Alexandria, which moved to this corner in 1807. The building is presumed to be the second oldest extant banking house in the United States and has been restored to its Federal-period appearance, notable for its neoclassical arched doorways and American eagle carvings on the keystones.

"The buildings are chiefly of brick, some of them very stately and elegant. The banks are kept in houses quite magnificent...." Captain Henry Massie describing the town of Alexandria in 1808.

The bank failed in the "Panic of 1834" financial crisis and in 1848 was acquired by James Green and included as part of "Green's Mansion House Hotel," built in front of the elegant residence of John Carlyle and blocking it from view on North Fairfax Street. The hotel was used as a hostpital during the Civil War and later became a loding known as Braddock House. The old hotel was demolished in 1973, leaving the bank and opening up an unobstructed view of the historic Carlyle House.

Wise's Tavern
Diagonally
Hall, Bank & Tavern Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 19, 2020
3. Hall, Bank & Tavern Marker
across the intersection is Wise's Tavern, built in 1777 where twelve years later George Washington bid farewell to fellow Alexandrians from the front steps, just before leaving for New York to be inaugurated as the first President of the United States.
 
Erected by City of Alexandria, Virginia.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureColonial EraIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington, and the Virginia, The City of Alexandria series lists.
 
Location. 38° 48.338′ N, 77° 2.56′ W. Marker is in the Historical District in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is on Cameron Street just west of North Fairfax Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 311 Cameron St, 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. Alexandria Washington Lodge (a few steps from this marker); First Lot Sold at Auction (a few steps from this marker); Home of Charles Lee (a few steps from this marker); Site of Assembly Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Alexandria, Virginia (within shouting distance of this marker);
Hall, Bank & Tavern Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 19, 2020
4. Hall, Bank & Tavern Marker
Bank of Alexandria (within shouting distance of this marker); Wise's Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); The Braddock Campaign and Carlyle House (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Historical District.
 
Hall, Bank & Tavern Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 19, 2020
5. Hall, Bank & Tavern Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 19, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 19, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Oct. 27, 2020