Opinion — 05 November 2009
Out of the Attic | 508 Wolfe Street

Built around 1850, this large Italianate home occupied the southwest corner of Wolfe and South Pitt streets. The two-and-a-half-story manor at 508 Wolfe St. featured two porches and a four-story turret with a cupola.

During the Civil War, it was used as a Union hospital. From January 1862 to February 1865, this house and another large one to the west were known as the Wolfe Street Hospital. It was then that this photograph was taken by Mathew Bradys studio.

In the 1870s, former Louisiana planter Theodore J. Packwood and his wife lived there, but it soon became the home of John A. Marshall, a successful businessman and bank officer. Marshall lived there until his death in 1913, and in the 1920s, the John Marshall House as it was known passed through a series of owners and occupants before a Jewish congregation acquired it in 1927.

The site became the synagogue for the Agudas Achim Congregation and was used for Jewish community functions and meetings, as well as for religious services. In 1946, Agudas Achim sold the home to a local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and in the 1950s, it became a Moose Lodge. By the early 1960s, it was vacant and acquired for development

The John Marshall House was demolished in 1961 to make way for the Federal Hill homes built by Royce Ward and John Philipp along South Pitt Street that year.

Out of the Attic is provided by the Office of Historic Alexandria.

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Alexandria Times Staff

(1) Reader Comment

  1. I cannot believe this home was destroyed. It should have been made a national landmark because of its rich history…. wow! What a shame.

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