News: October 2006


Fencing and signage have been placed at Montgomery Park in preparation for construction of planned improvements: a new gazebo/shelter structure and enhancements to the path connecting the small parking lot north of the tennis courts with Fairfax Street. Already last spring, the chain link fence blocking access from Fairfax Street was taken down. These projects are all part of the approved plan for Montgomery Park improvements prepared and promoted by OTNCP in partnership with the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks. We are encouraged with the start of major improvements and the prospect of a more user-friendly park available to all in our neighborhood by the spring of 2007. We thank the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce for twelve trees to be planted in the park as part of the Chamber’s 100th anniversary celebration.


Woodrow Wilson Bridge contractors are planning to blow up parts of the old drawbridge mechanism in late October or early November. While the explosion site is a mile from our neighborhood, the sound will likely travel upriver as has the noise from the pile driving. The demolition boom is planned to occur around 2 a.m., when traffic will be least impacted from a temporary Beltway closure.


The Planning Commission approved a Development Site Plan application for Windows of Old Town Condominium at its October 3 meeting. As a site plan, this item did not have a public hearing at City Council. However, the Council did grant a request for a parking reduction at its October 14 public hearing meeting. The planned residential condos are located at 1125 North Royal Street, where the warehouse buildings formerly occupied by Windows Catering are located. The project includes 18 townhouse style units and three residential units over ground-floor retail. A one-level underground garage provides 47 parking spaces, and another 6 spaces are accommodated at grade. The project is consistent with the Old Town North small area plan that asks for mixed use at this location. A notable feature of the Planning Commission approval was the insertion of a new condition imposing a disclaimer to future purchasers of potential hazards related to industrial and commercial uses in the area. As part of the overall discussion on this application, Planning Commission also requested the City to review health issues in the vicinity of the Mirant Plant.


OCTOBER 24: City Council Public Hearing on Fiscal Year 2008 City Budget and Capital Improvement Program, 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 301 King Street. Citizens are encouraged to attend and offer comments. Note: date has been rescheduled from the original published date.

OCTOBER 26: Last Doggie Happy Hour of the Season and Halloween Costume Contest, 5-8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Select, 480 King Street. For more information, visit or call 703-549-6080.

SATURDAYS: Alexandria Farmers’ Market, 5:30-10:30 a.m. on the plaza in front of City Hall. A new feature this fall is a series of cooking demonstrations by local chefs, held at 9:30 am. Chefs from O’Connell’s (October 28), Vermillion (November 4), and Belle Haven Country Club (November 11) are on the schedule.

OCTOBER 29: Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Telethon, 4 to 9 pm, Comcast Channel 69. Pledges: 703-824-6730.

OCTOBER 29: Art exhibit and lecture on assessing and purchasing art at the Torpedo Factory, 6:30 p.m., 105 N. Union Street ($15 admission).

NOVEMBER 3-5: Final weekend this season to experience the 100 block of King Street as a pedestrian plaza closed to vehicles. The King Street Pedestrian Plaza enables you to enjoy the 100 block’s shops and restaurants free from traffic and parked cars blocking the view.

NOVEMBER 4: The Animal Welfare League Annual Dinner and Silent Auction, Holiday Inn, 625 First Street. This is an elegant event right in our neighborhood, and proceeds help care for homeless animals. For more information, please call 703-838-4774, ext. 216.

NOVEMBER 7: Election Day. Our neighborhood votes at the Ladrey high rise for the elderly on Wythe Street between Fairfax and Royal Streets. For elections information, contact the Alexandria Registrar of voters, 703-838-4050 or visit

NOVEMBER 11: Veteran’s Day activities include: Soldier- Led Tours at Fort Ward Museum, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., 4301 W. Braddock Road, 703-838-4848 or (free admission) and the Black History Museum Veteran’s Day Celebration, 11a.m.–2p.m., 902 Wythe Street, 703-838-4356.

NOVEMBER 11: Swordsmen’s Rendezvous for ages 5 and up, 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal Street ($5 admission). Learn 18th century swordplay, see 18th century weapons on display, and watch a re-enactment. Call 703-838-4242 or visit for more information.

NOVEMBER 17-19: Historic Alexandria Antiques Show and Sale, Holiday Inn, 625 First Street. For more information and to purchase tickets, call 703-549-5811. Also visit


Laura Machanic, founder and chief executive of New Target, a web design firm, both lives and works in Old Town North. Laura recently volunteered to take over the updating of OTNCP’s web site, originally set up by David Henderson. Laura also chairs the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria and was recently nominated as President of the Eisenhower Partnership for 2007.

Pamela Grothaus, a writer and creative director for an Old Town-based direct marketing agency, recently moved to Liberty Row with her husband, David, and two dogs, Lucy and Winnie. She has created a web-based (for now) newsletter “for Old Town Alexandria dogs and their humans.”


The Virginia Municipal League has presented the City of Alexandria with a 2006 Achievement Award on October 17 at its Annual Conference for the Chatham Square project. Chatham Square is a mixed-income development built in 2005-2006, located between Pitt and Royal Streets and spanning two City blocks between Princess and Pendleton Streets. It contains 100 market-rate townhouses and 52 rental public housing units. The project is the result of a public-private partnership between the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority and developer Eakin-Youngentob, who previously built Rivergate and the Ford Plant townhouses.


The Braddock Road Small Area Plan is almost complete. The plan provides for several areas of higher density to take advantage of the Metro Station’s presence, and puts in place mechanisms to provide more open space and a better pedestrian environment for the area between Queen Street and the Monroe Avenue Bridge, west of Route 1.

City Council recently approved a plan for part of Potomac Yard that will result in construction of a new firehouse with residential units above, as well as townhouses and office and retail space.

Construction is continuing on the new Monroe Avenue Bridge. The arches of the new bridge are clearly visible as you cross the old bridge, allowing you to see what the new alignment will be. A little inconvenience now with construction, but great improvements “down the road”.

On October 28 from 8 am to 1 pm, Alexandria’s Urban Forestry Committee is holding a tree sale at Ft. Ward Park. Trees will be available for purchase by Alexandria residents in 5-gallon containers, at $30 for shade or ornamental trees, and $40 for evergreens. Even if your yard is small, this is a good opportunity!


As someone who lives or does business in our community, you’ll want to receive OTNCP notices of events and information of general interest. Please send an email with your contact Or complete and mail the form below to Old Town North Community Partnership, c/o Montgomery Center, 300 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.