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“Worth a Look”

Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House
Ranked #15 of 87 things to do in Alexandria
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Attraction details
Owner description: Two houses on the property: 1. Woodlawn is a house that was built on George Washington's property for his step-granddaughter Nelly and her husband Lawrence. Starting off as 2,000 acre plantation built in 1800, the house went through a number of interesting owners before becoming the first site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 2. Frank Lloyd Wright is practically a household name these days, but this small Usonian house was a unique design of his. Originally built in 1940 in Falls Church, VA; this house is a true example of preservation-in-action!
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Worth a Look”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2010

I have done these tours about fifteen years ago, but went again to take my teenage sons. Our purpose was really to see the Frank Lloyd Wright house, but since they offer a combination admission for Woodlawan as well, we did both.

Our tour of Woodlawn was only a handful of people, and our group asked a lot of questions. I think it is a key part of making tours like this good-ASK QUESTIONS. Our docent really knew a lot about the history, including the Quakers, and Woodlawn's status as a Freeman's Plantation.

A short walk through the grounds takes you down to where they relocated the PLH to save it from the construction of I-66 in the early 1960s. It really is a fascinating place to visit. We enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the tour-sitting in the living room, and looking through the kitchen cabinets and even seeing inside the fridge. Again, it was another great group, a great docent and we learned a lot.

Both homes receive NO FEDERAL FUNDING. They depend on donations and funds raised from tours, so consider visiting these lesser-known historic attractions in the D.C. area.

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3 Thank whiteflea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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85 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Pope-Leighey house was GREAT, but you can pass on Woodlawn”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2009

Thoroughly enjoyed the FLW house. I'm not even a big architecture fan, but it was fascinating. I definitely recommend it, even to those who think they wouldn't be interested.
On the same property is the Woodlawn Plantation, which was given to a nephew of George Washington's in his era. The story of the Woodlawn house they tell in the tour is quite boring, actually. The kicker is that there is a more interesting history later on that is not included on the tour, regarding Quakers who bought the property and made it into a multiracial, free man's working farm before the Civil War. This part of the story is really what would make Woodlawn stand out since it doesn't have a very interesting history otherwise...but they don't even mention it. Sort of a boring tour about distant Washington relatives who really didn't do much - this is no Mt Vernon or Monticello. Anyway, they could make it interesting, but they don't. On the positive side, the house is pretty, and the property very peaceful.

Long story short I do NOT recommend buying the combination ticket that gives you entry to both houses, it is a waste of money. Only pay for and visit the Frank Lloyd Wright portion of the tour.

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2 Thank inarlington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex England
Level Contributor
249 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 482 helpful votes
“Loved the Frank Lloyd house”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2008

Well worth a visit. We wanted to tour the Frank Lloyd home and drove into Woodlawn. You purchase a ticket there then walk quite a distance to the house where you are given a guided tour. It lasts around 30 minutes. It's very quirky and enjoyable to visit. I'm sure all family members would be interested. We visited Mount Vernon and at the end of the road, it's the Woodlawn estate so it's ideal to combine both on a trip.

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1 Thank Tappy Feet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
60 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Love those FLW houses!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2006

If you are a Frank Lloyd Wright fan it is a must, and you get to see Woodlawn Plantation for the one admission price. If you belong the the National Registry for Historic Pres. it is free, but bring your card as they have no way to check your membership.
The house is small but quite interesting. Have been there twice, and both times had excellent docent led tours. Note that little children would probably be bored and there is little room in the house to move around, also not handicapped accessible

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6 Thank noworry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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