The Smoot Lumber Company Planing Mill was located in the southwest portion of this block. It was constructed in 1912 with W.A. Smoot & Co., Inc. and was designed by H.A. Riggs, a local Alexandria architect. This mill replaced an earlier mill located on the waterfront which was destroyed by fire in 1909 (pictured above). A planing mill was typically the final process after lumber had gone through the sawmill. The primary machinery would have been the planer and matcher which dressed the lumber for final sale. Various other saws and machinery with which to attach knives to create multiple profiles for moldings, door and window parts would have been used. The mill was steam powered and was served by a spur of the R.F. & P. Railroad which ran along the center of Washington Road, now Powhatan Street. The planing mill closed in the late 1920s, and the property was subsequently used as a grocery, a bakery, and for the assembly of truck bodies.
Founded in 1858, Smoot Lumber has long played a prominent role in Alexandria's industrial heritage. Many of the company's buildings were located along the City's waterfront. Smoot Lumber remains in business but has relocated to the west end of the City.