MAYBE NOT! SEE UPDATES: Maybe, This is King & Saint Asaph (Chipotle).

Ken Lopez
Posted by Ken Lopez on Jun 15, 2021 1:19:39 PM

MYSTERY SOLVED! I WAS OFF BY A BLOCK! SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE FOR DEFINITIVE PROOF!

 

After the horse photo post was such a hit the other day, I thought our readers might enjoy another mystery. I think this photo might be the northwest corner of King Street and N. Saint Asaph St in Alexandria, Virginia. That's where Chipotle is located today. What do you think? It almost looks right, but there are a few things off.

The following history of 601 King Street was compiled as part of an Alexandria Board of Architectural Review hearing in 2012:

The J. Muir Building is located at the corner of King and North Saint Asaph Streets in
Alexandria, Virginia. Originally the site of the Indian Queen Tavern, the current structure
was not completed until the 1860s (but may include some portions of the Indian Queen
foundation or walls) as part of an ambitious expansion by a prosperous local cabinetry
and millwork family business, Muir and Brothers. John Muir settled in Alexandria in
1755 as a talented cabinet maker from Scotland. He built a successful cabinetry and
furniture making business, spurred on by the demand for goods created by the
Revolutionary War. The War created great prosperity for the artisan and merchant class
in Alexandria, which thrived on wartime manufacturing and supplies. Muir’s workshop
gradually spread from his headquarters on Royal Street to the surrounding blocks. He
eventually owned five buildings and leased other properties for various ventures. His
sons William and J(ames) Muir completed the current building in the 1860s, after their
father’s death, as a new showroom for the fine furniture built out of a large two-story
shed at the rear. They continued the business for many more years. By the 1920s, the
ownership passed on from their family. However, the building remained a furniture
showroom/warehouse until the early twentieth century, when it was reborn as a shared
office space, hosting a mix of lawyers, accountants and other professionals as it does
today.

Here's the photo postcard again and the Google Maps shot that mirrors it. After that, there are several postcards and photographs. Funnily enough, I live just two blocks from here.

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Starbucks is at 532 King, and Chipotle is at 601 King. Here's a shot looking east towards the river on King Street, where Chipotle's building is just visible on the left.

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Here's a shot looking west from 500 King (left) toward the block in question.

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Here's a photograph from a little further up the block, looking in the same direction from maybe 10 years earlier.

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Here's a shot from the 600 block of King Street with 601 on the left looking toward the 500 block (east toward the river).

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Here is a 1968 photo of 501 to 515 King St. with 601 King in the distant background.

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Finally, here's the back of the postcard of the Fireman's parade.

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So, what do you think?

 

 

THE UPDATED ANSWER FOLLOWS... It's not 601 King… It's 701 King!

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Once again, Richard Wright provided the answer! Thanks, Richard!!!! I went out and found a Library of Congress photo of the building proving that he was correct.

Here is the photo showing that this building actually sat at the northwest corner of King and Washington. Before being demolished in 1954, it was the old Timberman's Drugstore… just as Richard had said. A ghost outline of the old roofline still exists and can be seen in the Google image below.

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From an Out of the Attic in the Alexandria Times:

John Timberman took the state examination to become a pharmacist in 1895, and soon after took a position at a drug store located at King and North Washington Streets, owned and operated by Ernest L. Allen. After Dr. Allen’s death in 1906, he took over the proprietorship, and the pharmacy, pictured her in the 1920’s, was known as Timberman’s Drug Store. Although John Timberman retired in 1943, the pharmacy retained his business name under the leadership of Francis X. Nugent, who began work at Timberman’s in 1917 and remained there until 1973. About 1950 Timberman’s relocated next door to 106 North Washington Street, when the estate of Ernest Allen’s son, William, decided to sell the property. At the new site, Nugent added an angled neon sign to highlight the otherwise non-descript façade, and that sign was incorporated into the collections of the Office of Historic Alexandria when the drug store finally closed in 2004.

Topics: Alexandria, Virginia, King Street, Saint Asaph St.

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