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Alexandria

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Murray-Dick-Fawcett House, 517 Prince Street, Alexandria, Independent City, VA



See 34 maps of this location


B&W Photos

HB1142718

HB1142719

HB1142720


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Supplemental Material


Item Title


Location
517 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA

Find maps of Alexandria, VA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS VA-104
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-88, FN-91; FN-93, FN-94).
Building/structure dates: 1772 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1784 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1797 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1807 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1823 subsequent work
National Register Number: 66000928
Significance: The Fawcett House was constructed in three, separate building campaigns dating to 1772, 1784, and 1797 as confirmed by dendrochronological and historical analysis. It was added onto twice more, by 1807 and again by 1823. By agreement presented in court in 1774, John Alexander conveyed a half-lot to Patrick Murray who was to improve the parcel by building a house. Murray had already done so in 1772, erected a dwelling that was a 1 1/2 story structure with a footprint of 31' x 19' and arranged around a hall-chamber plan. It was a wood structure, resting on a brick foundation, sheathed in flush beaded siding originally painted a reddish brown. The roof was covered with round-butt shingles. There was a chimney at the west end. The half-story above was reached by an enclosed winder stair. The hall was embellished with cabinetry, but both first floor rooms exhibited pedestal surbases (chair rails), molded architraves, and raised paneling on the doors. Murray enlarged the house in 1785 with a wood-framed shed addition, making four rooms on the first floor with a passage and converting the winder stair into a single run stair to the upper floor. The west room of the addition was also heated. Murray offered the house for sale in 1792; it was bought three years later by John Thomas Ricketts and William Newton. The latter lived in the house and replaced Murray's kitchen with a brick ell (44 'x 16') for service rooms. The ell was one-story, gable- roofed, and made of brick laid in 3:1 common bond. William Brown bought the house in 1816, where he had been living for several years, and removed the entrance porch and sealed the bulkhead entrance to the cellar from Prince Street. The new entry was through a doorway in the east gable end that had been added in 1784.

Subjects
Dwellings
Domestic Life


Related Names
Murray, Patrick
Newton, William
Brown, William
Boucher, Jack E., Photographer
Wells, Camille, Historian


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
SECOND FLOOR, VIEW OF FIREPLACE (COAL) AT THE WEST END, OF THE WEST ROOM
VIEW OF THE EAST WINDOW WITH SHADE PULL
SECOND FLOOR, DETAIL VIEW OF SOUTH DORMER
SECOND FLOOR, VIEW OF THE NORTH PLAIN OF THE 1772 ROOF TO SHOW ROUND-BUTT WOOD SHINGLES; THIS ROOF IS PROTECTED BY THE 1784 SHED ADDITION
DETAIL VIEW OF SHINGLES
VIEW OF “MILK ROOM” ENCLOSURE, LOCATED IN THE (1797) ONE STORY, GABLE-ROOFED WING EXTENDING TO THE NORTH
DETAIL VIEW OF BOX LOCK IN “MILK ROOM” ENCLOSURE
CELLAR, VIEW OF THE CISTERN WITH SCALE


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