Alexandria, VA

alexandria

Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 128,283. It is located on the west bank of the Potomac River, six miles below Washington, DC. This city is a part of the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area. It is surrounded by the Potomac River, Arlington County, and Fairfax County.

Like the rest of Northern Virginia, as well as southern Maryland, Alexandria is shaped by its proximity to the nation's capital. It is largely populated by professionals working for the federal civil service, the U.S. military or for one of the many private companies that contract out services to the government. Alexandria's largest employer by far is the U.S. Department of Defense -- since The Pentagon is in neighboring Arlington County -- and two of its four largest private employers are the Institute for Defense Analysis and the Center for Naval Analysis, according to city statistics. Alexandria is also home to various charities and non-profit organizations including the Salvation Army. Alexandria is also one of the first cities of its size to offer free wireless Internet access to residents and visitors.

Alexandria

The historic center of Alexandria, known as Old Town, is a major draw for tourists and those seeking nightlife without crossing the Potomac River. Like Old Town, most Alexandria neighborhoods are wealthy, high-status suburbs. In 2005, an assessed-value study of homes and condominiums found that about 40 percent were in the highest bracket, worth $550,000 or more.

Landmarks within the city include the George Washington Masonic National Memorial (also known as the Masonic Temple) and Observation Deck, Christ Church, Gadsby's Tavern, John Carlyle House, Little Theatre of Alexandria, Lee-Fendall House, Alexandria City Hall, Market Square, the Jones Point Light, the south cornerstone of the original District of Columbia, Robert E. Lee's boyhood home, the Torpedo Factory Art Center, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. Other sites of historical interest in the city include Alexandria Black History Resource Center, Fort Ward Park and Museum, and the Alexandria Canal lock re-creation at Canal Office Center. Interesting sites with Alexandria addresses but outside of the city limits include River Farm, Collingwood Library & Museum, Green Spring Gardens Park, Huntley Meadows Park, Pope-Leighey House (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), Woodlawn Plantation, Washington's Grist Mill and Mount Vernon Estate.

In 1830, John Hollensbury's home in Alexandria was one of two homes directly boarding an alleyway that received a large amount of horse-drawn wagon traffic and loiterers. In order to prevent people from using the alleyway, Hollensbury constructed a 7 feet (2.1 m) wide, 25 feet (7.6 m) deep, 325-square-foot (30.2 m2), two story home using the existing brick walls of the adjacent homes for the sides of the new home.The brick walls of the Hollensbury Spite House living room have gouges from wagon-wheel hubs and the house still is standing and occupied.

Demographics

As of the census of 2010, there were 139,966 people, 68,082 households, and 30,978 families residing in the city. The population density was 8,452.0 people per square mile (3,262.9/km²). There were 68,082 housing units at an average density of 4,233.2 per square mile (1,634.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was:

60.9% White
21.8% African American
6.0% Asian (1.3% Indian, 1.0% Filipino, 0.9% Chinese, 0.8% Korean, 0.3% Vietnamese, 0.2% Japanese, 1.5% Other)
0.4% Native American
0.1% Pacific Islander
3.7% from two or more races
16.1% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race (4.6% Salvadoran, 1.7% Mexican, 1.6% Honduran, 1.1% Guatemalan, 1.1% Puerto Rican, 0.9% Bolivian, 0.8% Peruvian, 0.4% Colombian)

In 2000 there were 61,889 households out of which 18.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 55.2% were non-families. 43.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.87.

The age distribution was 16.8% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 43.5% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $80,806, and the median income for a family was $102,435. Males had a median income of $47,514 versus $41,254 for females. The per capita income for the city was $37,645. 8.9% of the population and 6.8% of families were below the poverty line. 13.9% of those under the age of 18 and 9.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Recreation

Alexandria has a distributed park system with approximately 950 acres (3.8 km²) spread across 70 major parks and 30 recreation centers, of which Chinquapin is one of the largest. Chinquapin offers facilities for swimming, tennis, racquetball, and other sports. Alexandria The city also organizes several sports leagues throughout the year including volleyball, softball and basketball.

Old Town Alexandria, viewed from the west, as seen from the observation deck of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. King Street Station is in the foreground and the Potomac River is in the background.

The city is unusual in that Cameron Run Regional Park includes a water park with a wave pool and water slides, as well as a miniature golf course and batting cages—facilities usually operated by private companies. A portion of the Mount Vernon Trail, a popular bike and jogging path, runs through Old Town near the Potomac River on its way from the Mount Vernon Estate to Roosevelt Island in Washington, DC. There is also a largely unbroken line of parks stretching along the Alexandria waterfront from end to end.