The Cradock neighborhood was built in 1918 and named in honor of British Rear Admiral Sir Christopher G. F. W. Cradock whose fleet was sunk by the German Navy in 1914. It was built on a 310-acre tract, formerly known as Afton Farm, three miles south of Portsmouth on Paradise Creek. It was connected to Portsmouth by a streetcar line leading directly to the shipyard. This line, in turn, was attached to the existing system that covered all of Portsmouth and its major suburbs, making Cradock part of an early mass transit system. An Act of Congress in 1918 allowed the federal government to build housing projects related to the wartime effort. Accordingly, the United States Housing Corporation began planning Cradock since the adjacent city of Portsmouth was not equipped to handle the sudden increase in population due to the rapid influx of workers at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard during World War I. Cradock was one of the first federally funded planned communities in the United States. Conceived as a self- contained pedestrian community, it incorporated many of the most advanced planning techniques of its day and is a direct predecessor of the current trend towards “new urbanism.” Most of the features of present-day planned communities, including recreational areas, churches, a commercial square, and a public transportation system, were provided for the residents of Cradock. With its own government- built schoolhouses, firehouse, sewerage and water system, and electric street lighting system, Cradock attempted self-government from the Armistice until 1922. It was then taken over by Norfolk County before becoming a part of the City of Portsmouth. The Cradock National Register Historic District was established in 1974 and local review, according to the criteria established by the historic districts Zoning Ordinance, began in 1976. (Courtesy of Portsmouth Department of Planning)
The Cradock neighborhood was built in 1918 and named in honor of British Rear Admiral Sir Christopher G.F.W. Cradock.
Cradock Historic District Portsmouth, Virginia 23702
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