Street Numbering in Alexandria

Before 1888

Directories of the 1870s have numerical addresses. These can be confusing, however, in that they do not represent current street addresses. The Charter and Laws of the City of Alexandria for the year 1874 stated:

All the streets running east and west shall be commenced at their eastern extremity, and numbered to their western termination, and all those streets running north and south shall be commenced at King street as a center and all those streets running north from King street shall be numbered from King street through to their northern termination and those streets from King Street south to their southern termination, always placing the odd numbers on the right hand and the even numbers on the left hand from the place of beginning...

Using this method of numbering, the block made no difference in the house numbers. In 1888, when the Post Office Department introduced delivery service, it became necessary to determine the block in which an address was located. Thus, the numbering system was changed to the present method of assigning a sequence of hundreds to each block of a street beginning with I 00 for the first block, 200 for the second, etc. Even numbers were still assigned to the left and odd numbers to the right. The Hopkins Atlas provides a key to the old numbering system.


More information on Houses in Alexandria