The Port Norfolk Historic District was built on a 175-acre parcel in the northern area of the city. The land was originally part of Colonel Crawford’s landholdings and was donated by him to serve as the glebe for Portsmouth Parish and Trinity Church. This land was also the site of the British landing when Portsmouth and Norfolk were captured during the Revolution. After 1815, the former glebe parcel passed out of church ownership and was operated as a successful private farm through most the nineteenth century. In 1890 the land was purchased by the Norfolk Land Company. This former farmland was platted into thirty city blocks and advertised as “healthful and attractive” housing for railroad and shipping facility workers. The name Port Norfolk is derived from the combination of the words Portsmouth and Norfolk. A streetcar line connected residents to downtown while a hotel, pavilion, and fishing pier attracted visitors from downtown to the new suburb. A small commercial district was located in the center of the neighborhood. It contained a pharmacy, bakery, and grocery store to serve the needs of the residents, alleviating the need to make the trip downtown. Like Park View to its east, Port Norfolk was an attempt by developers to satisfy the need for middle-class housing for a fast-growing workforce employed by Portsmouth’s railroad, shipping, and manufacturing industries. Many of Port Norfolk’s original residents worked to the south or east of the neighborhood in bordering industrial areas, and the Seaboard Line’s tracks form the southeastern boundary of the district. The Port Norfolk National Register Historic District was established in 1983 and local review began the same year. (Courtesy of Portsmouth Department of Planning)
The Port Norfolk Historic District was built on a 175-acre parcel in the northern area of the city.
Port Norfolk Portsmouth, Virginia 23707
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