For the last several weeks I’ve been writing introductions for the different chapters of my book on commemorative markers in Old Town and Parker-Gray.
Working on the “West End” right now. Not the current one, but the original West End.
In the 1950s, the City annexed parts of Fairfax County and built neighborhoods such as Landmark and Seminary Hill. Thus the name, West End. Two hundred years ago, West End was a growing part of the city on land we know today as the northeast corner of Carlyle and four blocks of Duke Street, more or less from Whole Foods to Motley Fool near the King Street Metro.
As always with these before and afters, we owe so much to the work of Pamela Cressey and the good folks at Alexandria Archaeology. Their digs give us precise maps, which we can then pinpoint with the satellite shots.
Can’t spent much time with this, but here’s both maps. Anyone who works at Motley Fool can see their offices are on land that was once a store. The vault for the brewery is still underneath their corner spot.
The only visible vestige of the old West End is the brick building at the northeast corner of Reinekers Lane and Duke Street, across from the Whole Foods. There is no marker there, but the sculpture of the Edmonson Sisters tells us the sad story that humans were sold here too.
Last time I checked, Whole Foods put up some photos of the old West End, and the City’s interpretive marker is along Hooff’s Run, just off Jamieson. Hooff's Run bridge also survives. The railroad tracks crossed the water there.