The Mill, located at 515 N. Washington St. in Old Town Alexandria, has a fascinating history that includes a variety of distinct tenants since the building’s inception.
Originally constructed in 1847, the four-story industrial property initially housed the Mount Vernon Cotton Factory. In 1903, the building transferred to the Robert Portner Brewing Company, which converted it into a bottling facility.
Ten years later, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began renting the property from the Robert Portner Brewing Company for storage purposes. In 1918, the Express Spark Plug Company of America purchased the building, operating it as a spark-plug factory.
The Express Spark Plug Company of America sold the property, in 1935, to John Loughran, who re-zoned the building and converted it into the Belle Haven Apartments. By 1981, 515 N. Washington St. was being used as office space.
Eleven years later, in 1992, the International Association of Chiefs of Police acquired the property, which served as its headquarters until the association sold the building to CAS Riegler.
Although the property’s ownership has changed a handful of times over the past nearly 170 years, much of the building’s original simplicity remains, and 515 N. Washington St. continues on as a significantly historic property within the city of Alexandria – while retaining a strong visual association to its industrial heritage.