220 South Union

As required by Alexandria's Archaeological Code, developers of certain sites in the city must pay for archaeological investigations before construction can begin. The entire city has been mapped to identify which areas may hold something tantlyzing underneath the surface. This code has helped in the discovery of Civil War history, but it also goes much earlier. Alexandria's waterfront is ground zero, as far as applying the Code goes. For many years, plans to develop the waterfront, or not, occupied the city, with lawsuits and lots of heated debate. The current plans are supposedly a compromise, time will tell. At 220 South Union Street, right off the Potomac River at the corner with Duke Street, a Hotel Indigo will replace a shipping terminal. Archaeologists have been peeling back the layers.

In September 2015, they found railroad tracks from the early 1900s, remains from a fertilizer factory (including fire damage), and postholes.

The site was used as by the Quartermaster during the Civil War--not sure what physical remains have complemented the documentary evidence.

In November 2015,  they found warehouse remains from 1755.

In December, when supposedly almost at the end of the dig (they went from one side of the lot to the other), they found a huge (50 feet) piece of a ship hull. They are excavating the pieces and trying to figure out how to conserve them and study them in the future.

I went by last Friday and snapped this photo, looking over the chain-link fence. A day later many of the pieces had already been removed to safe-keeping.

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