Old Town will be bustling this weekend as visitors line up for the Tour of Homes in Old Town on Saturday, Sept. 24. The tour features eight private residences, dating from the 1700s to the mid-1800s.
This is the 64th year for this tour, sponsored by the Twig, the Junior Auxiliary of Inova Alexandria Hospital. Proceeds will benefit the hospital's new telemetry unit — a 16 single-room unit providing short-stay care for patients who need assistance for less than 48 hours.
“These are outstanding homes, and the public will appreciate the restorations, as well as the homes’ histories," Twig President Kathy Hirsch said in a statement. "We expect hundreds to participate in our event, and hope to raise more than $20,000 for the hospital.”
The historic homes on the tour have been restored over the years and are distinct in their architecture, decorating and gardens. One home, built between 1760 and 1780, began life as a tavern and an oyster house patronized by George Washington and is now home to a family of five.
Another home, built between 1804 and 1807 in the Federal style, was first a national bank; the vault of the original bank and five keys found in a renovation are now in the Smithsonian. The home now features two fireplaces with original mantels and moldings, Hepplewhite furnishings and antiques.
Also on the tour is a townhouse featuring Alexandria’s seafaring past in its décor. On display will be the homeowners’ historic map collection, which includes some of the earliest maps of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
The Twig is a volunteer organization of 130 women who run a Thrift Shop and organize fundraisers throughout the year to benefit the Inova Alexandria Hospital. The organization is currently raising money for its largest pledge ever: $750,000 toward the Twig Pavilion, the telemetry unit of Inova Alexandria Hospital.