The Uptown/Parker-Gray Historic District in Alexandria covers a 45-block area northwest of the Alexandria Historic District. It covers two neighborhoods, of which Uptown is the largest of several others associated with Alexandria’s early 19th-century Black freedman community. The district contains a mixture of building types and architectural styles, including social centers such as neighborhood churches and lodges. It also clearly reveals the legacy of enforced racial segregation that prevailed until the mid-20th century. The obvious economic stratification between historically white and black areas in the district is visible through the differences in size, materials, details, and design of buildings of approximately the same age. In addition to single-family homes, the Uptown/Parker-Gray Historic District also contains over 200 public housing units—initiated at the end of World War II for defense workers—that resulted in the displacement of several blocks of private African American residences. The Uptown/Parker-Gray Historic District’s architectural character as a whole distinguishes it from the more elaborate homes in the adjacent Alexandria Historic District, reflecting the limited means of its residents.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark
DHR has secured permanent legal protection for over 700 historic places - including 15,000 acres of battlefield lands
DHR has erected 2,532 highway markers in every county and city across Virginia
DHR has engaged over 450 students in 3 highway marker contests
DHR has stimulated more than $4.2 billion dollars in private investments related to historic tax credit incentives, revitalizing communities of all sizes throughout Virginia