The Athenaeum building was the recipient of a $75,000 grant from the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Parks Service. The organization must match at least part of the amount. U.S. Rep. Jim Moran advocated for the building's efforts to obtain federal funding.
Built in 1851, the Athenaeum is owned by the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The funding is needed to undertake numerous building restoration improvements including upgrades in the electrical, fire, water and heating systems, repairs to the entrance and walls and the creation of additional storage space. The upgrades and repairs are being made in the hope that the Athenaeum remains a vital resource as part of the Alexandria's cultural and social heritage.