Norfolk in Virginia

Wednesday, 7 August 2019 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

USS George Washington in Norfolk Naval Station © U.S. Navy - Mate 3rd Class Summer M. Anderson

USS George Washington in Norfolk Naval Station © U.S. Navy – Mate 3rd Class Summer M. Anderson

Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. In 2017, the population was estimated to be 244,703 making it the second-most populous city in Virginia after neighboring Virginia Beach. Norfolk is located at the core of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, named for the large natural harbor of the same name located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. It is one of nine cities and seven counties that constitute the Hampton Roads metro area, officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA. The city is bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and to the north by the Chesapeake Bay. It also shares land borders with the independent cities of Chesapeake to its south and Virginia Beach to its east. Norfolk is one of the oldest cities in Hampton Roads, and is considered to be the historic, urban, financial, and cultural center of the region.

The city has a long history as a strategic military and transportation point. The largest Navy base in the world, Naval Station Norfolk, is located in Norfolk along with one of NATO’s two Strategic Command headquarters. The city also has the corporate headquarters of Norfolk Southern Railway, one of North America’s principal Class I railroads, and Maersk Line, Limited, which manages the world’s largest fleet of US-flag vessels. As the city is bordered by multiple bodies of water, Norfolk has many miles of riverfront and bayfront property, including beaches on the Chesapeake Bay. It is linked to its neighbors by an extensive network of interstate highways, bridges, tunnels, and three bridge-tunnel complexes, which are the only bridge-tunnels in the United States.

Downtown Norfolk © Lluck002/cc-by-sa-4.0 Virginia Zoological Park © Mytwocents/cc-by-sa-3.0 USS Harry S. Truman passes the Downtown Norfolk waterfront © U.S. Navy - Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler Folnsbee USS George Washington passes by USS Wisconsin © U.S. Navy - Mate 3rd Class Summer M. Anderson USS George Washington in Norfolk Naval Station © U.S. Navy - Mate 3rd Class Summer M. Anderson © Joey Sheely Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center © flickr.com - Missy Schmidt/cc-by-2.0 © panoramio.com - SCOTT CAMERON/cc-by-3.0 © Antony-22/cc-by-sa-4.0
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USS Harry S. Truman passes the Downtown Norfolk waterfront © U.S. Navy - Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler Folnsbee
When Norfolk was first settled, homes were made of wood and frame construction, similar to most medieval English-style homes. These homes had wide chimneys and thatch roofs. Some decades after the town was first laid out in 1682, the Georgian architectural style, which was popular in the South at the time, was used. Brick was considered more substantial construction; patterns were made by brick laid and Flemish bond. This style evolved to include projecting center pavilions, Palladian windows, balustraded roof decks, and two-story porticoes. By 1740, homes, warehouses, stores, workshops, and taverns began to dot Norfolk’s streets. Norfolk was burned down during the Revolutionary War. After the Revolution, Norfolk was rebuilt in the Federal style, based on Roman ideals. Federal-style homes kept Georgian symmetry, though they had more refined decorations to look like New World homes. Federal homes had features such as narrow sidelights with an embracing fanlight around the doorway, giant porticoes, gable or flat roofs, and projecting bays on exterior walls. Rooms were oval, elliptical or octagonal. Few of these federal rowhouses remain standing today. A majority of buildings were made of wood and had a simple construction. In the early nineteenth century, Neoclassical architectural elements began to appear in the federal style row homes, such as ionic columns in the porticoes and classic motifs over doorways and windows. Many Federal-style row houses were modernized by placing a Greek-style porch at the front. Greek and Roman elements were integrated into public buildings such as the old City Hall, the old Norfolk Academy, and the Customs House. Greek-style homes gave way to Gothic Revival in the 1830s, which emphasized pointed arches, steep gable roofs, towers and tracer-lead windows. The Freemason Baptist Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church are examples of Gothic Revival. Italianate elements emerged in the 1840s including cupolas, verandas, ornamental brickwork, or corner quoins. Norfolk still had simple wooden structures among its more ornate buildings.

High-rise buildings were first built in the late nineteenth century when structures such as the current Commodore Maury Hotel and the Royster Building were constructed to form the initial Norfolk skyline. Past styles were revived during the early years of the twentieth century. Bungalows and apartment buildings became popular for those living in the city (List of tallest buildings in Norfolk). As the Great Depression wore on, Art Deco emerged as a popular building style, as evidenced by the Post Office building downtown. Art Deco consisted of streamlined concrete faced appearance with smooth stone or metal, with terracotta, and trimming consisting of glass and colored tiles. Norfolk has a variety of historic neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods, such as Berkley, were formerly cities and towns. Others, such as Willoughby Spit and Ocean View, have a long “history tied to the Chesapeake Bay. Today, neighborhoods such as Downtown, Ghent and Fairmount Park have transformed with the revitalization that the city has undergone (List of neighborhoods in Norfolk).

Read more on Norfolk, Visit Norfolk, Wikivoyage Norfolk and Wikipedia Norfolk (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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