Real Estate

George Washington Owned This Virginia Estate. Now It’s Listed for $32 Million.

Neighbors had fought to keep River Farm in Alexandria off the market.

Photos of River Farm, courtesy of Compass.

The historic Alexandria estate known as River Farm has hit the market for the first time in nearly five decades. George Washington bought the land on the banks of the Potomac River in 1760 for 1,260 pounds. Today, the 11,000-square-foot manor and surrounding 27 acres is available for $32 million.

The property has been the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society for the past 47 years. In that capacity, it’s been open to the public free of charge, and served as a venue for weddings and other events. In October, DCist reported on the fight to prevent it from being sold. The economic downturn from the Covid-19 pandemic had made it increasingly difficult for the Horticultural Society to continue operating the sprawling site, though neighbors were dismayed by the prospect of it falling into the hands of a developer.

In a press release announcing the sale, Bob Brackman, interim executive director of the American Horticultural Society, says the organization is “seeking a new steward for River Farm who will respect the beauty of this land and maintain it as a single-use property, preferably with continued opportunities for public access and enjoyment going forward.”

Listed by the Goodhart Group at Compass, River Farm includes the main manor with six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, sweeping views of the Potomac, original period details, and a ballroom. There’s also a separate carriage house and cottage, in addition to its acres of impressive gardens. The full listing is available here.

 

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a possible wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia. Kashino lives in Northeast DC.