Justice Black’s house at center of Alexandria dispute

From 1939 until his death in 1971, Justice Hugo Black lived in Alexandria, Virginia, at 619 S. Lee Street. On Tuesday, the Alexandria City Council will consider a proposal by the current residents to work on parts of the existing structure and build additions in the property’s extensive gardens and open space. The issue comes to the city council on appeal by the Historic Alexandria Foundation, together with other interested groups and citizens, from the Old and Historic District Board of Architectural Review, which approved the plans. The foundation maintains that, among other violations, the homeowners’ plans are inconsistent with the preservation easement Black imposed on the property under Virginia’s Open Spaces Land Act. Whatever happens with 619 S. Lee Street, the moment shines a small light on Black’s domestic life. Supreme Court scholar A.E. Dick Howard, a Black clerk for two terms from 1962 to 1964 and the Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor…

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