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Alexandria, Virginia - Walking Tour of Old Town

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The Torpedo Factory Art Center
The Torpedo Factory Art Center

The Torpedo Factory Art Center

Photo Credit: © 2006 George Alexander, licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Torpedo Factory

  • Location - 105 North Union Street, between King and Cameron Streets, along the docks of the Potomac River
  • Hours - Daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursdays open until 9 p.m. (will close at 5 p.m. when the building is rented for a private event that evening. Call ahead if this could affect your visit: 703-838-4565 x1.) Individual working studio hours may vary; Closed Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving
  • Admission - Free
  • Telephone - 703-838-4565
Allow plenty of time to explore this wonderful art center housed in a renovated torpedo factory. The highlight of Alexandria's scenic Potomac River waterfront area, the Torpedo Factory attracts roughly 700,000 annual visitors to browse the wonderful array of ceramics, photography, jewelry, stained glass, fiber, printmaking, and sculpture.

Brief History

Originally built in 1918, the buildings served as the U.S. Naval Torpedo Station where torpedoes were manufactured and maintained during World War I and World War II. Once peace was declared in 1945, the buildings were used as government storage space for valuable items such as dinosaur bones and art objects from the Smithsonian and Congressional documents.

Several years after purchasing the building in 1969, the City of Alexandria together with local artists renovated the factory buildings to create an art center. Today the Torpedo Factory is one of the most successful visual arts centers in the United States, accommodating about 165 artists in 82 working studios, six cooperative galleries and two workshops. It also is the home of the Art League School and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.

Additional Information - The Torpedo Factory Web Site

Walking Tour - This is the final stop of the Alexandria, Virginia Walking Tour. Go to the Beginning of the Tour
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