Constructed around 1796-1797, Lloyd House is one of the best examples of Alexandria’s late eighteenth-century Georgian style, and one of five buildings of the Georgian style remaining in the city. Lloyd House is particularly important to the streetscape of Washington Street, part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. It is assumed that the house was built by John Wise who owned the land and also built and operated the City Hotel (Gadsby’s Tavern) around the same time. There are many similarities between the two buildings.
The building is also historically significant due to the number of prominent people who lived there. Occupied initially by John Wise, it was then leased to Charles Lee, younger brother of Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee. Charles Lee served in the presidential administrations of George Washington and John Adams as attorney General and was appointed to a position as a federal judge during the last hours of Adams’ administration. Lee returned to private law practice, serving as council for the plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case, Marbury vs Madison. He later participated with the defense in the impeachment trial of Justice Samuel Chase and treason trial of Aaron Burr.
Jacob Hoffman purchased the house and its nearly half acre lot in 1810 and soon became engaged in an extremely profitable enterprise – the refining of sugar. The production of sugar was profitable for a very brief time, and by 1825 the house and its garden were sold to Elizabeth Hooe.
In 1826, Hooe invited Benjamin Hallowell, a Quaker educator and tutor of Robert E. Lee, to move his school to the site. The school was quickly a success in terms of the numbers of students who were educated there, but Hallowell was deeply in debt. He later converted the sugar refinery and tobacco warehouse on the adjacent property to a residence and dormitory for his boarding school, and Lloyd House was sold again. Hallowell continued his school until 1842 in another location, ultimately employing a total of 29 teachers during his career in Alexandria. Hallowell educated hundreds of children and presented scientific lectures to their parents, often at The Lyceum, which he founded in 1839.
John Lloyd bought the house at auction and took possession of his new home in December 1833. Lloyd was a successful dry goods merchant and soon began investing extensively in real estate. His wife, Anne Harriotte Lee, was a first cousin of Robert E. Lee and frequently entertained Lee in the house. The Lloyd family owned the home until 1918. Read more…