Sketch Workshop alongside Urban Sketchers

Sketch Credit ©️ Shelby Pollack

Architecture, history, and sketching came together once more for the third Annual Walking Sketch Tour in Old Town Alexandria. The event was hosted by the Women in Architecture Committee (WIA), in collaboration with Urban Sketchers Washington DC and the Young Architects Forum (YAF).

This year, the rain added a layer of romanticism to the tour. The meeting point was at the Lyceum, built in 1839 to improve public educational and cultural opportunities throughout the community. Today, it is home to the Alexandria History Museum.

Walking a few steps down Prince Street, we arrived at the first sketch spot, the Murray-Dick-Fawcett House & Garden, considered one of earliest homes in the city and likely the least altered 18th-century home in Northern Virginia; it is a 1770s timber-frame and brick home, but its cozy courtyard and garden stole the spotlight. We continued our tour down Prince Street to the second spot which was at the Prince St. Alley House, built before 1883. Also famous for its holiday decorations, the house is less than 8 feet wide!

The final sketch spot was at the Athenaeum, a surviving example of Greek revival architecture, built in 1852. It served as the Chief Commissary’s Office for the Union Army during the Civil War. In 1964, it was purchased by the Norther Virginia Fine Arts association and repurposed as an art center.

We closed the event by sharing each other’s sketches, anecdotes, and favorite moments. Thank you to Katie Hummelt for providing us with the History of Old Town Alexandria, and thank you to Paula Lynn and Bronwyn Redd for liaising with the Urban Sketchers. We look forward to more architecture and sketching on the next one!

– Susy M. Mikhail, AIA, 2023 WIA Committee Co-Chair

Published: 05/22/2024
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