The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Alexandria completes purchase of historic 18th century home

Built in 1772, the Murray-Dick-Fawcett House is one of the most authentic and unaltered in Alexandria because one family lived there for 184 years. (Patricia Sullivan/The Washington Post)

The city of Alexandria on Thursday completed its purchase of Old Town’s historic Murray-Dick-Fawcett House, one of the oldest private homes in the city, which it plans to use as an educational center focused on domestic life in the 1700s and 1800s.

The 245-year-old timber frame and brick house is located at 517 Prince St., behind the Alexandria courthouse.

A deal to sell it to the Nova Park authority in exchange for agreeing to renew the authority's lease on the Cameron Run water park fell apart last year.

Instead, the city bought the property using a $900,000 grant from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, a $350,000 grant from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and an equity donation from the homeowner, Joseph Reeder, who was granted Reeder lifetime tenancy.

There will be public access for special events several times a year while he lives there.