Completion of the New Club House for the Old Dominion Boat Club in Alexandria, Virginia

The First Project of Alexandria’s New Waterfront Plan


Winstanley Architects & Planners is pleased to announce the completion of the new clubhouse for the Old Dominion Boat Club located on the waterfront in historic Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia. The contemporary wood clad structure is the first project completed in the master plan for the Alexandria waterfront.The demolition of the old clubhouse at the base of King Street will make way for the new Waterfront Plaza.


In the summer of 2015 the Old Dominion Boat Club accepted the City of Alexandria’s offer to move to the city-owned Beachcombers Restaurant site at the base of Prince Street. The Beachcombers property was a culturally historic structure with a checkered past and ultimately abandoned. The City wanted to save the building because it represented the first structure built on the waterfront in 1947 that promoted tourism and recreation along the historically industrial waterfront. In fact, the original Beachcombers structure was built on piers and actually positioned over the water for dramatic setting of the new restaurant.


The design of the new clubhouse is meant to reflect the narrative of the long history of this location and the Old Dominion Boat Club’s own history.  The exterior of the structure has been designed to reflect the image of boat building by using materials and detailing similar to what a boat builder would propose.  The piers and decking for the front of the building illustrate the history of the waterfront dating back to the 1700s and the retention of the Beachcombers original form will assure its legacy.


The new clubhouse is a three-story structure, approximately 13,800 square feet, with a 45-car parking lot on the south side of the structure. On the ground level is an entry lobby with historic artifacts on display, storage, lockers and showers, and loading/service areas. The first floor features a large open hall for member meetings and banquet rentals, administrative offices, a special events kitchen and outdoor patio. The second floor includes the main bar and dining room, member’s board room, and a full kitchen. The roof level, much like the Beachcombers, will also be utilized for entertainment purposes.


The Old Dominion Boat Club is the longest in continuous use along the city’s waterfront; and with this move, the club will have been in three locations.  In August of 1880, thirty-six young men gathered at the Mansion House to form a club dedicated to water sports – sailing, rowing, canoeing and swimming.  They called their new association the “Old Dominion Boat Club of Alexandria.” The members built their first clubhouse on the Strand near the foot of Duke Street, and by 1891 the club had acquired two four-oared shells, two double outriggers, and a 60’ barge.  In 1923 the members built a new clubhouse at 1 King Street.  


Winstanley Architects & Planners is an architecture, planning and interior design firm located in a renovated warehouse in Old Town, Alexandria. Recent assignments include the Capella Hotel (now the Rosewood Hotel) in Georgetown, the restoration work at Union Station in Washington, and the Potomac River Transportation Framework Plan for the Washington metropolitan area.



The firm is a registered small business enterprise.


Further information on the firm can be found at the company’s website or by contacting Geri Houston at 703 519 8081 or