Old Town Alexandria with Baby


One of the places I visited quite often while growing up was Old Town Alexandria, very close to Washington, DC. It was a colonial port town, and cobblestone streets and period homes still exist, except now it is mostly known for its many shops and restaurants.

A recent post on Delicious Baby about Alexandria, VA with Kids reminded me that it would be a nice place to visit with the baby and her grandparents. We borrowed a stroller for the outing, which worked fine, although a baby carrier would have been nice, since many of the shops are up several stairs off the street. The day was sunny and beautiful and the tree-lined main thoroughfare, King Street, was shady and perfect for walking. We stopped in the children’s boutique stores Pink and Brown, Monday’s Child and Why Not? (where we picked up the cutest pair of baby sunglasses for Chloe!), plus other shops like Ten Thousand Villages and Paper-Source.

Historic Alexandria Plaque

A very interesting wig boutique

Boats on the waterfront near the Torpedo Factory and food pavilion

And being the architecture buff that I am, I couldn’t miss 527 Queen Street. I had read about this tiny house somewhere but had never seen it before this visit. I had to ask at the visitor center to find it. It measures a mere 7 feet wide (!) and 36 feet deep – 350 square feet altogether. According to an article I found in the Washington Post:

“In the 1830s, brick maker John Hollensbury built the tiny place — 7 feet by 36 feet — for his daughters, Julia and Harriett. The “lot” on which it was built actually was a narrow alley between Hollensbury’s house and his neighbor’s. Local lore has it that Hollensbury bought the spot for $45.65 and built the house because he wanted to keep his neighbor’s oversized carriage out of the alley, where it scraped the walls of Hollensbury’s house. Thus, the construction earned the nickname “Spitehouse.””

The narrowest house in town – only 7 feet wide!
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3 thoughts on “Old Town Alexandria with Baby

  1. That is a very pretty area. I’ve been there a few times.

  2. Looks like a lovely area to visit. There is a house in Toronto that is skinny like that one, one of the design shows had the challenge of decorating it. Small, but gorgeous.

  3. Lovely! I think I saw a house hunters from there. The house was incredible!

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