Located on the corner of Main and Washington, the Georgian-style Washington Building is one of the oldest surviving structures in Lexington. Historically called the Alexander Withrow House, it took its name from two historic owners—William Alexander, one of the area’s earliest settlers and first postmasters, who built the house in 1789; and the Withrow family, who owned the building from 1875 to 1969.
The building, and its renovations through the years, tell the story of our town. In 1796, when nearly all of Lexington was destroyed by a great fire, this building was one of only two left standing, along with The Castle on Randolph Street. In 1851, when the city lowered the streets, the house received a new level underpinning it. Then in 1855, owner George Baker replaced the original gable roof with a stylish, Italianate one.
The Historic Lexington Foundation was formed in 1966 to raise funds to purchase significant city buildings, stabilize them structurally, and resell them with protective covenants requiring that the exteriors remain essentially true to their roots. The Washington Building was the foundation’s first acquisition. It became part of a larger project to revitalize the entire block of North Main Street between Washington and Henry, and it purchased the building from the Withrows in 1969 and oversaw a significant renovation to stabilize the exterior in 1970.
In 2013, The Georges Hotel purchased the building and finished a complete renovation in the spring of 2014, and reintroduced it as the Washington Building. Today, we offer five suites in this beautiful three-level brick townhouse, which is on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. It is also home to the casual Haywood’s piano bar restaurant.