Underground Ice House: Historic Finds in Old Town Alexandria
Discovered during an excavation for an addition, this underground brick storage vault was most likely used to store ice.
Watch the video below and walk inside the vault with us! A stone frame on top held an access door, which was likely wood. The floor, too, was wood, and you can see that it is highly decayed. The interior of the vault runs 8’6” long by 9’6” wide with a 6’ ceiling.
The current owner wanted to leave the ice house in place, but the addition would have cut it in half. In order to preserve the vault in its entirety, we figured out a structural way to span on top of it with the footings. The vault’s exterior was fully excavated in order to be waterproofed (pictured above).
The vault’s original stone frame now has a new door accessible from the dining room floor. The owner did not yet have plans for its use. What would you do with an historic ice house below your dining room?