Historic Alexandria Administration
Historic Alexandria Administration
Many of the city's premier historic sites fall under the administration of the Office of Historic Alexandria, the department of City government charged with the conservation, interpretation and promotion of these links to the past. These sites bring Alexandria's varied and storied history to life. Additionally, Alexandria has many more historic sites which are open to the public and tell a significant part of the city's historical tale.
The Office of Historic Alexandria is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.
Address and Hours
Mission of the Office of Historic Alexandria
In keeping with standard museum practices, the department and each Historic Alexandria property have Mission Statements. The following describes the mission of the Office of Historic Alexandria.
The Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) preserves and shares Alexandria’s past to enrich the present and inspire the future.
To infuse Alexandria’s rich and complex history into the fabric of the community.
- Engages in scholarship and research-driven content.
- Acknowledges that history is complex and embraces dialogue
- Offers compelling and innovative research-driven experiences for both residents and visitors.
- Builds community by fostering understanding and civic value.
- Actively seeks community partnerships and input.
- Offers resources for community projects, planning, and decisions.
Museum Mission Statements
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
The Alexandria Archaeology Museum is dedicated to preserving and studying Alexandria’s rich archaeological heritage and fostering within residents and visitors a connection between the past and present while inspiring a sense of stewardship and adventure.
Alexandria Black History Museum
The mission of the Alexandria Black History Museum is to enrich the lives of Alexandria’s residents and visitors, to foster tolerance and understanding among all cultures and to stimulate appreciation for the diversity of the African American experience. The Alexandria Black History Museum accomplishes its mission by inspiring the public to explore the integral relationship between Alexandria’s African American heritage and other cultural traditions.
Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum
The mission of Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum is to actively preserve and interpret this historic landmark and its collections, thereby inspiring public use and enjoyment of local history.
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site actively preserves and interprets this historic landmark and its collections according to professional museum standards in order to foster a greater appreciation and understanding of its history and significance by City residents and the general public.
The Museum interprets the Civil War Defenses of Washington, D.C., Fort Ward’s history and preservation, wartime Alexandria, and soldier and civilian life during the Civil War. The Museum collects, preserves and interprets artifacts related to these themes that are featured in exhibits, used for research purposes, and are the context for a variety of public programs sponsored by the Museum, including tours, lectures and living history events. To meet its educational goals, the Museum also operates a Civil War research library with specialized resources on the Defenses of Washington; maintains an informative web site; works with local school systems to enhance classroom study of Civil War history, including the distribution of an award-winning outreach program; and collaborates with other agencies that preserve local Civil War forts to promote the history of these sites and to foster Civil War heritage tourism.
Friendship Firehouse Museum
The mission of City staff regarding the Friendship Firehouse Museum is to preserve this structure as an historical record, and facilitate public use and enjoyment of the history that it represents.
Gadsby's Tavern Museum
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum consists of two buildings, a (circa) 1785 tavern and the 1792 City Hotel and Tavern. In recognition of our role as a historic resource for both residents of Alexandria and visitors, the mission of the museum is to teach the public about the history of the site, and to preserve the two historic structures. Supported by on-going research and professional standards, the Museum’s programs, collections, and exhibitions create a varied and meaningful learning environment that addresses the needs and interests of our community’s residents and visitors. Like the 18th-century purpose of the site, our goal is to play a dynamic role in the social, economic, and educational life of Alexandria, thus contributing to the City’s identity and vitality.
The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, one of the oldest pharmacies in the nation, exists today to promote a greater understanding of historic public health issues, inspire people with the values of Quaker founder, Edward Stabler, and engage the visitor in an appreciation of our local and national history by sharing the story of this business and family’s profound effect on the community in such diverse areas as education and the abolition of slavery.