City of Alexandria’s Freedom House Museum Reopens with Three Powerful New Exhibitions
News and Announcements
Thursday, May 26, 2022 08:35 AM

­­For Immediate Release: May 16, 2022

The City of Alexandria is pleased to announce that the Freedom House Museum at 1315 Duke Street will reopen on Friday, May 27, with three new exhibitions showcasing Alexandria’s Black history and the Black experience in America. A grand opening event is scheduled for Monday, June 20, when the Juneteenth holiday will be observed. Details on this grand opening event will be announced in the coming weeks.

The museum will be open to the public Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays and Mondays from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 per adult, $3 per child ages 5–12, and free for City of Alexandria residents. Due to high demand and limited capacity, it is highly recommended that guests reserve tickets in advance online.

The National Historic Landmark is what remains of a large complex dedicated to trafficking thousands of Black men, women and children between 1828 and 1861. The museum honors the lives and experiences of the enslaved and free Black people who lived in–and were trafficked through–Alexandria. This museum seeks to reframe white supremacist history and provide visitors opportunities to learn, reflect and advocate for change.

“When you enter the hallowed doors of the Freedom House Museum, you come face-to-face with the named and unnamed enslaved and free Black men, women and children who were trafficked through this site,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “Freedom House will inform visitors while challenging them to critically examine our history. I am proud that we are telling this story and honoring the lives and experiences of those who passed through this building.”

The exhibits depict the roles of the historic site and Alexandria in the domestic slave trade, and share inspiring stories of African Americans in our community on three floors of the museum:

  • 1315 Duke Street highlights the stories of those who were brought from the Chesapeake Bay area, moved through 1315 Duke Street, and forced into slave markets in the deep South. The exhibit includes archaeological artifacts, a model of the complex, and stories of personal experiences of individuals trafficked through the domestic slave trade. The new first floor exhibition was designed by Washington, D.C. firm Howard+Revis Design, whose former clients include the Smithsonian Institution and the National Civil Rights Museum.
  • Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality, a traveling exhibition from the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, traces four centuries of Black history in Virginia through stories of extraordinary individuals who struggled for equality and, in the process, profoundly shaped the nature of American society and the meaning of our collective ideals. Determined in Alexandria is a companion exhibition about Black Alexandrians who built the foundations of our community while fighting for equality.
  • Before the Spirits Are Swept Away is a series of paintings of African American sites by the late Sherry Z. Sanabria. The third floor also includes a reflection space with a bronze model (or maquette) of Alexandria’s well known Edmonson Sisters sculpture by artist Erik Blome, a gift to the Office of Historic Alexandria from former City Manager Mark Jinks and his wife, Eileen Jinks.

The Freedom House Museum at 1315 Duke Street closed on March 17, 2020 due to the pandemic and on March 24, 2020, the City of Alexandria purchased the building from the Urban League of Northern Virginia. Throughout the pandemic, work continued to protect and interpret the building including the completion of the Historic Structures Report, research, and the creation of three new exhibits. The Freedom House Museum site is integral to the understanding of Black history in Alexandria and the United States, and is part of Alexandria’s large collection of historic sites, tours, markers and more that depict stories of the Colonial era, through the Civil War and Civil Rights eras, to today.

Visit for more information.

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Editorial Communications Manager, at [email protected] or 703.746.3959.

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact [email protected] or 703.746.4554, Virginia Relay 711.

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