The Alexandria Historic Preservation Commission is pleased to announce that our March 2015 Preservation in Progress award goes to 2017 Albert Street. Rehabbed in 2014 by Mark Gravel, this Craftsman cottage was built around 1920 and retains many original architectural features on both the interior and exterior of the building. Strikingly restored wood floors and original Craftsman style windows juxtapose the modern kitchen and bath fixtures and open floor plan. Striking the perfect balance between historic charm and modern amenities, the home immediately attracted the attention of Tom and Dawn Spencer when they were looking to downsize.
Veterans of old house living, the Spencers were living on Marye Street last year when they attended AHPC’s Historic House Fair last March. Tom remembers that they rode their bikes to the event, where they found plenty of resources for owners of old houses. Among those resources were two open houses featuring recent historic preservation tax credit rehabilitation projects by Mark Gravel. Tom and Dawn were impressed by the high quality of work, the retention of historic character, and the creative changes in floor plan that made the old home more suitable for gathering with family and friends.
The Spencers were curious if Mark had other rehab projects in the works and were pleased to find that he did. They fell in love with 2017 Albert Street and soon became the first residents of this newly restored property. Self-proclaimed “foodies”, Dawn and Tom enjoy the upgraded kitchen and daily make good use of the home’s open floor plan, which comes in handy when they entertain or when their five daughters are all home.
The Spencers are quick to point out how much they love the Garden District—especially their new neighbors in the 2000 block of Albert. While they love the interior of their home, they most enjoy sitting on their front porch most every evening and visiting with those walking by, even when it’s much too cold! Tom and Dawn are active in neighborhood activities and celebrations; they were awarded the “Inside-Out” award in the Garden District Neighborhood Foundation’s holiday decorating contest this past December. We think their beautiful beveled glass front door gave them an edge on the competition.
Those curious for a glimpse into this lovely rehab project will have their chance on Saturday, March 21st at Alexandria Historic Preservation Commission’s Historic House Fair, from 9:00am to noon on the 2000 block of Albert Street. Now in its second year, the Historic House Fair will feature two open houses, information on preservation tax credits, resources for researching and living in older homes, trolley tours of the Garden District and the opportunity to get connected with Garden District community groups and cultural resources. The opportunity to tour a Preservation in Progress award winning property is rare, so don’t miss your chance! Help us celebrate the good work going on in Alexandria’s historic districts and tour this fabulous property at AHPC’s Historic House Fair on March 21st.