Neighborhood Spotlight: Parker Gray Historic District

Neighborhood Spotlight is a recurring column covering both the City of Alexandria and Alexandria in Fairfax County. This monthly column is sponsored and written by the Seward Group of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

Happy New Year from all of us at the Seward Group. We hope your holidays were healthy, happy, warm and toasty. We wish you all the blessings, health being primary in 2022.

This month, our neighborhood spotlight focus is on the Historic Parker-Gray Neighborhood in Old Town Alexandria. Did you know that The Parker-Gray district is on the National Register of Historic Places? How did the neighborhood get its name, what is the neighborhood’s history?

The Parker-Gray District is named for the Parker Gray School which opened in 1920. The school was named in commemoration of John Parker and Sarah Gray who had been principals of two segregated schools in Alexandria during the latter part of the 19th century, the Snowden School for Boys and the Hallowell School for Girls. The district is a large, level area comprising most of the northwestern quadrant of the Old Town Alexandria street grid as it was laid out in 1797. Although the street pattern was shown on maps by 1798, most of the land remained vacant until the 1860s, and nearly all the built resources currently in the district date from after 1870.

Uptown Parker Gray Historic District (via DHR Virginia Department of Historic Resources)

Most of the residences are small row houses and townhouses, but there are also many commercial buildings. Nineteenth-century architectural styles are found in restrained and simplified forms. The district’s core area consists of a concentration of frame houses with details from late-nineteenth-century styles, mainly the Italianate and Queen Anne styles.

In the southwestern corner and throughout most of the western half of the district in general, whole blocks are occupied by brick Colonial Revival-style row houses built by developers in three or four major campaigns in the twentieth century.

Buildings built for neighborhood-oriented businesses are found on street corners in the southern half of the district and in a small concentration of contiguous commercial buildings along Queen Street. The Queen Street business corridor was once the city’s primary African-American business districtSourced from

This beautiful town is full of stunning historic homes, but this is a historic district and as such, is subject to a more strident architectural review process than elsewhere in the city of Alexandria. Check out following link to see what you can and cannot do to the exterior of your homes that fall within this historic district. Parker-Gray District Board of Architectural Review.

The Parker-Gray historic district is shown in red on the map below.

What draws residents and visitors alike to this vibrant neighborhood in Old Town? Proximity to two metros, shops, and restaurants, and lots of neighborhood hidden gems*. Residents can easily walk to all parts of Old Town and Del Ray and have quick access to all major highways, the Pentagon and D.C. A storied and fascinating history gives diverse and interesting character to this ever-changing neighborhood.

*Note some of these businesses listed in the link above are not active at the time of this article publication. For example, Sugar Shack Donuts has been replaced by Elizabeth’s Counter.

Zweet sport, Grateful Kitchen, Chop Shop Taco, and Hawwi Ethiopian Restaurant are neighborhood favorites as well.

Let’s chat real estate stats. As with most local jurisdictions this time of year, inventory is very lean — we are showing one active listing and one pending listing. The sold stats below are for the last 6 months as of date of publication.

Statistical observations:

Average days on market: 16
Average sales price: $837,274

As with every neighborhood in Alexandria, prices can vary greatly due to location, size and property condition.

Thinking of buying a home in this wonderful area? NOW may be the time! We would be honored to help. Email [email protected], call  703-298-0562 or visit The Seward Group website to set up an appointment with one of our agents.

About The Seward Group: We are award-winning real estate agents with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. Lyssa Seward, Melody Abella, Anita Edwards, Laura Catron, Gina Wimpey and Elaine McCall make up our team. We offer our clients Full-Spectrum Concierge Real Estate Service at all price points, assisting with every step of the process from beginning to end. We are licensed in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in Old Town Alexandria.

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