The Fairfax-Moore house. George William Fairfax owned this lot between 1749 and 1771. Yet, most likely, he built another dwelling here, as local law required owners to build structures on their property, and the architectural evidence suggests this house is most likely 1780s, when the lot was owned and developed by John Harper. Now, granted, it is very likely this home incorporates the earlier Fairfax structure but there is no definitive proof of it. So why do we refer it as Fairfax and not Harper? Well, for one, George was of the vast land-holding aristocratic Fairfaxes and childhood friend of George Washington, so who wouldn't want to be associated with that? But Harper was respected in his own right. A sea captain, he also built a slew of fine homes here known as Gentry Row and dined at Mount Vernon also. So, methinks he got shafted in this house naming deal. But it is the Moore in the house name on whom I really want to focus. Gay Montague Moore bought this home in 1929, when it and the town itself were in gradual decay, and began to lovingly preserve it. Amazingly, she was the first in Alexandria to restore a historic residence, and this passion resulted in her founding the Alexandria Association in 1932, of which I am a proud member, and where she worked tirelessly to push for greater historic preservation efforts in the city. She became involved in many projects, and it seems that by simply purchasing and restoring this house, she started a preservationist revolution in the city, which continues to this day. In 1949, her research into the history of these homes and buildings resulted in the publication of a highly acclaimed book - Seaport in Virginia: George Washington's Alexandria. In 1963, she was recognized by the city for her preservation efforts, and in 1976 she was rewarded by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities for her lifetime achievements. After her death in 1988, her home was designated on the VA Landmark Register, and in 1991, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places; a fitting tribute to a woman I consider a personal hero. From now on, I will always refer to this home as the Gay Montague Moore house!