The Anchorage: From Girl's School to War Hospital to Inn to Condos

Ken Lopez
Posted by Ken Lopez on Jul 18, 2021 9:42:30 AM

The condominium building at 603 Queen St. in Alexandria, Virginia, has an interesting and varied history. This 1950s-era postcard, etched by a former resident of The Anchorage, shows the building's usage as a restaurant and inn.

Richard Wright notes:

The three-story brick building --- later known as The Anchorage --- was built around 1853 by Robert L. Brockett at 603 Queen Street as an addition to his Alexandria Academy boarding school for girls at 601 --- northwest corner of North St. Asaph and Queen streets.

Brockett bought a lot that included the site of 601 Queen in February 1842 and built the brick structure before 1850. Both buildings were advertised in February 1858 as "the Alexandria Academy...buildings of brick, three stories...fully supplied with gas and water... heated by flues ... built expressly for an extensive Boarding School...but admit of change into three dwellings."
The house at 603 Queen sold in October 1865 for $6,000, while the dwelling at 601 conveyed in 1868 for $1,500.

The Alexandria Times added this colorful observation about 603's use as a hospital during the Civil War [PDF]:

But during the Civil War, it was the large size and unusual infrastructure of the three-and-a-half story section that led military officials to confiscate the building for use as a hospital. Almost overnight the feminine finery and sweet voices of young schoolgirls were replaced by the oozing wounds and agonized cries of severely injured soldiers brought back to Alexandria from the battlefields of Virginia.

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Here's how the building looks today:

Screen Shot 2021-07-17 at 10.27.03 AM

Here is how it looked in roughly 1915:

603queenloc

Here's an 1889 advertisement from the Alexandria Gazette:

Screen Shot 2021-07-17 at 2.05.35 PM

Here's the front and back of the 1950s-era Anchorage postcard:

AnchorageHousePC-front-1

AnchorageHousePC-back

Today, the building is broken up into seven condominiums, some of which can be seen here:

https://www.redfin.com/VA/Alexandria/603-Queen-St-22314/unit-1/home/11870156

https://www.compass.com/listing/603-queen-street-unit-2-alexandria-va-22314/771019896176628025/

Like many buildings in Alexandria, its usage has varied with the times. I am guessing that its current usage as condominiums is not 603 Queen's final form.

Topics: Alexandria, Virginia, Queen St., Queen Street Hospital, The Anchorage, Robert L. Brockett

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