Site 9: Old Joachim Hall
The old Joachim Hall was named after Saint Ann’s husband, the father of Mary. It was not a hall at all, but a small, gray house sitting at the corner of Harrison St. and N. Fairfax Drive. It was older than the parish and became one of the most versatile buildings on campus.
When Saint Ann School opened in 1951, kindergarten class was held in Joachim Hall. Miss Mary Rhodes was the teacher (the only lay teacher for many years) who taught class there into the 1960s.
In 1953, the little house was used as a temporary rectory for some months while the house on 10th Street N. was being renovated.
As grades were added to the school, more Sisters of Loretto arrived. When the sisters outgrew the convent, some sisters lived in Joachim Hall.
Members of the Nguyen family celebrating a birthday in Joachim Hall with Sr. Mary John Kenan Brown, SND.
In 1977, the Nguyen family, with seven children, was welcomed by St. Ann Parish who sponsored them when they came to Northern Virginia to live. They had been evacuated from Saigon in 1975 in one of the last airlifts, and lived first at Camp Pendleton, CA. Mr. Nguyen became the parish custodian and all of the school-aged children attended Saint Ann School. They lived in Joachim Hall for several years.
In 1978, the State Highway and Transportation Commission took by condemnation 1628 square feet of land from Saint Ann at the rear corner of the property next to Joachim Hall for the construction of Route 66. That corner is now the ramp to Harrison Street from the Custis Trail.
Activities held in this house over the years touched all ages of parishioners: the school library; Boy and Girl Scouts meetings; piano lessons taught by sisters; AA meetings; workshops for making Christmas decorations; quilting sessions for Fall Bazaar auctions; and even food distribution for a parish Food Co-op in the early ‘80s.
Joachim Hall was razed when the new church was built. Its site became parking and lawn.