1315 Duke Street Historic Structures Report

The Historic Structures Report (HSR) for 1315 Duke Street, the Freedom House Museum, was formally presented by SmithGroup on October 28, 2021. A historic structure report provides documentary, graphic, and physical information about a property's history and existing condition. Broadly recognized as an effective part of preservation planning, a historic structure report also addresses management or owner goals for the use or re-use of the property.
1315 Duke Street was once part of the headquarters for the largest domestic slave trading firm in the United States, Franklin and Armfield. Enslaved people were brought from the Chesapeake Bay area and forced to the slave markets in Natchez, Mississippi and New Orleans either by foot or ship. On March 25, 2020, the City of Alexandria completed the purchase of the 1315 Duke Street from the Northern Virginia Urban League (NVUL). This purchase will allow the City to preserve and interpret this National Historic Landmark and ensure it is open to the public for future generations.

0:00 - Welcome by Audrey Davis, Director, Alexandria Black History Museum
2:04 - Introductions of Presenters
4:11 - Project Background
9:05 - Investigative Process
20:47 - Building's History and Significance
35:54 - Periods of Development
46:22 - Period of Significance (1828-1861)
47:48 - Physical Description and Inventory
49:22 - Conditions Assessment
50:07 - Work Recommendations
51:58 - Treatment and Use - Options and Recommendations
55:29 - Further Recommendations and Studies
1:00:47 - Live Q&A

To learn more about Alexandria's rich and complex history, visit us online at www.AlexandriaVA.gov/Historic. Our webpage for 1315 Duke Street, including current hours of operation, can be found at www.AlexandriaVA.gov/FreedomHouse.
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