Neighborhoods-Old Town

Neighborhoods-Old Town


For more years than your faithful correspondent can remember, one of the wonderful tonics of early fall in Old Town included the delights of our town's annual antiques show.

With the best of intentions, I for years called the show and all of its trappings of this splendid fund-raiser the best party in town. The loyal and dedicated worker bees outdid themselves in making this show the major fund-raiser for its sponsor, the Historic Alexandria Foundation. Then, a few years ago, poof! No show. No annual thousands of dollars that the HAF via show profits reaped for historic preservation projects in the old port city.

Reasons were pretty obvious — a lousy economy; other local interests, competition from other worthy causes and more. Whatever, it appeared the show was becoming history. Not to mention the thousands it raised through the years for historic preservation and restoration projects in Alexandria.

Well, the really good news is that a dedicated and determined group of like-minded Alexandria residents decided a few years ago to take matters in their own hands. Maybe we can't (at least for now) raise the kinds of bucks the antiques show did, they reasoned, but let's look at other ways to experiment with other ways of raising money for many of the same projects the old show did.

Jump back, 'Towners. This gang means business. And they're reaching out to you to lend a hand in supporting historic preservation not only where you live. You can also spend a fun evening with your friends and neighbors. Their worker bees are gearing up for their 4th annual "Toasting Our Town" fund-raiser — their version of the old antique show and with many of the trimmings so successful in the past.

“Toasting Our Town” will be held Saturday, Nov. 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Athenaeum and we'll tell you more about this frolic in future columns — wine, generous hors d’oeuvres and a fabulous silent auction. Last year's "Toast" affair turned out 175 supporters and raised more than $8,500 for historic preservation projects around town. To stay posted via email on this year's show you are asked to forward your name and contact information to If you have a silent auction item to donate contact Julianne Belevetz at

More on this later, 'Towners. But remember the date — Nov. 10 at the Athenaeum.


Our good friend Poul Hertel reminds us that, after a lengthy process, City Council just finished putting the idea of having a dedicated transit going through Old Town — called Corridor A — back to bed where it belongs. The decision followed the Planning Commission recommendation to not complete the Corridor A proposal south of Braddock Metro Station. Residents had universally rejected the idea of catering to commuters traveling through Alexandria, especially since the Metro and VRE line already serve that need. According to Hertel, the City Council asked that the city staff bring back an amendment to the Master Plan so that it can be changed to reflect this in September.