City of Fairfax Historic District

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The modern city of Fairfax had its origins in 1798 when the General Assembly directed that the Fairfax County seat be relocated near the county’s geographic center. The site, named Providence in 1805, was at the junction of the Little River Turnpike and the Ox Road. These historic routes remain heavily traveled thoroughfares through the City of Fairfax Historic District. Centered around the historic courthouse, the district includes some forty-eight buildings, six of which predated 1850. The rest are an assemblage of modest-scale commercial and residential structures. A focal point of the City of Fairfax Historic District is the 1900 frame town hall, built for community use by Joseph E. Willard, a lieutenant governor and diplomat. During the Civil War town life was subjected to constant disruption by continuous troop movements and guerrilla raids. Although now located in an incorporated city greatly expanded beyond its 19th-century confines, Fairfax’s historic core retains a small-town character.

The City of Fairfax Historic District was listed at the statewide level of significance in the National Register in 1987 as a significant local government center, market, and community in Fairfax County. The district’s diverse collection of property types and architectural styles included the original Fairfax County Courthouse complex constructed in 1799 and the core areas of the village area that evolved around the courthouse during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as dwellings, commercial buildings, churches, banks, and professional offices that illustrated the community’s growth. In addition to the courthouse complex, the Earp’s Ordinary (also known as the Ratcliffe-Logan-Allison House) was individually listed prior to the historic district’s nomination.  Updated documentation was approved by the National Register in 2024 which expanded the district’s period of significance from the 1930s to 1965, and added Community Planning and Development, Military, and Transportation to the original nomination’s areas of significance of Architecture, Politics/Government, and Commerce.
[NRHP Approved: 3/18/2024]

Last Updated: April 11, 2024

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

For additional information Read

Nomination Form

2024 Updated Documentation Nomination


Drover’s Rest

Fairfax (County)


Mount Vernon Enterprise Lodge #3488/Pride of Fairfax County Lodge #298

Fairfax (County)


Bois Doré

Fairfax (County)