ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia row house that once housed one of the nation's largest slave-trading businesses is up for sale.

The Northern Virginia Urban League owns the home in Old Town Alexandria and operates it as a museum called Freedom House.

Newsoutlets report the league put the building up for sale to shed the financial burden of operating a lightly attended museum in an old building with high maintenance costs.

City officials say they'd prefer the building not be sold to a private entity, but that Alexandria is not in position to take over the museum's operation.

Slave traders used the building as a holding pen for several decades in the 19th century to keep slaves arriving through the city's port until they were sold into the Deep South.

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