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The Lyceum Museum, City of Alexandria

The Lyceum Museum, City of Alexandria

The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum was developed in 1839 by a group of gentlemen calling themselves The Alexandria Lyceum, who joined with the Alexandria Library Company to build a grand hall to provide a place for lectures, scientific experiments and quiet reading.

Eventually, the building itself became known as The Lyceum and, since that time, it has been a Civil War hospital, a private home, an office building and the nation's first Bicentennial Center. In 1985, The Lyceum became Alexandria's History Museum, providing exhibitions, school programs, lectures and concerts, volunteer opportunities and space for rental functions for the community. The Lyceum Museum Shop carries a wide variety of maps, books, note cards and special items related to Alexandria's history. The present-day Lyceum Company serves the museum as a membership and fund-raising organization.

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Image Credit: The Lyceum Museum, City of Alexandria

Hours

Museum Hours

Monday – Saturday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 PM
Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas

Office Hours

Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, by appointment

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)

Fees

Admission to the museum is $2.

Group admission and services available. Call to find out more. 

Activities

For group tours, call 703-746-4994, or email The Lyceum for more information. If your group would like to arrange to visit more than one Alexandria museum please learn about scheduling a multi-site visit.

Water Flow Info:

Facilities

  • Museum store
  • Free parking lot

Accessibility

The museum is wheelchair accessible to the first and second floor public areas. The City of Alexandria complies with the terms of ADA. An individual with a disability who wishes to request a reasonable accommodation may contact the museum at 703-746-4994.

History

On August 29, 1814, The British navy was anchored off the Alexandria waterfront with its guns pointed at the town. British Capt. James Gordon convinced the town council to surrender and promised that his men would not damage private property. The British then spent five days looting Alexandria’s public stores and warehouses. They loaded their ships with military supplies and commercial goods, including 16,000 barrels of flour, 1,000 hogsheads of tobacco, 150 bales of cotton and sugar and wine worth nearly $5,000.  On September 2, the squadron left Alexandria and began its journey back to the Chesapeake Bay and on to Baltimore. Along the way, American troops at batteries near Mount Vernon, Virginia, and Indian Head, Maryland, fired at Gordon and his men. Alexandria avoided destruction and its residents were unharmed. But many Americans saw them as cowards and traitors.

The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum was developed in 1839 by a group of gentlemen calling themselves The Alexandria Lyceum, who joined with the Alexandria Library Company to build a grand hall to provide a place for lectures, scientific experiments and quiet reading.

Weather

Last updated: March 05, 2020
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