Glimpse history through fascinating old images of Norfolk, Virginia.
Old Photos of Norfolk, Va
Norfolk, VA 1897-1917
Each of these old photos of Norfolk, Virginia, was taken between 1897 and 1917.
Labels are added, so you always know the location and date of the old photo.
Old photos of Norfolk(Virginia) 1897-1917 – oldstuff4all on YouTube
1932 Ship Blaze
In 1932, the 11,000 ton liner called Segovia was about to make her maiden voyage from Norfolk, Va.
She was one of six liners built under The Merchant Marine Act of 1928 (the “Jones-White Act”), a United States law to stimulate private shipbuilding in the United States and to assist the merchant marine financially in being competitive in the emerging global market.
The Segovia had been christened by Lou Hoover, wife of the 31st president of the United States Herbert Hoover, the previous August.
But shortly before completion, the pride of the American Mercantile Fleet caught fire at daybreak. Despite the efforts of the firefighters, the vessel was badly damaged and then capsized.
The newsreel shows a group of men standing on the side of the upturned liner.
Million Pound Ship Ablaze! (1932) – British Pathé on YouTube
1950s Granby Street
This is a modern day narration over 1950s film footage of sailors enjoying their night out in Granby Street.
The city councilman supported the downtown development project, which aimed to sweep away the old buildings and their undesirable dive bars. In their place were to be modern buildings and professional jobs.
Idle Edsel’s Sailor Dive Memoirs, 1950’s Granby Street, Norfolk, Virginia – idle edsel on YouTube
Church Street Redevelopment
In 1978, a $2.7 million grant was on offer from the Redevelopment and Housing Authority to help a business tear down a 20 acrea site on Church Street and build a new Post Office facility, which would then be leased to the Post Office.
The news item covering this story captured footage of the existing buildings, including the Lenox.
WAVY Archive: 1978 Norfolk’s Church Street Redevelopment – WAVY TV 10 on YouTube
Then in 1981, there were hopes to make Church Street an Enterprise Zone, whereby businesses (“businessmen”) moving to the area would receive tax relief and other incentives.
The Republican candidate Marshall Coleman came to inspect Church Street with Norfolk’s Mayor Vince Thomas.
Because of this, the news team recorded some of the street’s buildings before they were almost all torn down.
WAVY Archive: 1981 Norfolk’s Church Street – WAVY TV 10 on YouTube
The same year, it was proposed that $200,000 should be paid to outside consultants (instead of NRA staff) to drive the redevelopment of the Huntersville Section of Church Street.
WAVY Archive: 1981 Norfolk Huntersville Section Church Street – WAVY TV 10 on YouTube
Granby Mall 1979
The Mall part of Granby Street was created across a five block site between Bute Street and City Hall Avenue, when pedestrian walkways and containerized trees replaced the traditional roads. The traditional store fronts were left intact, albeit with modern designs.
The city’s Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and some local merchants were worried about the declining retail investment, and hired a New York consultant who proposed a facelift on one of the city’s oldest shopping districts.
Interestingly, the $100,000 project had a focus on taking buildings back to their original beauty, removing the modern facades of the storefronts.
At the time, the new Federal Building and the Freemason Harbour Project were still under construction nearby.
WAVY Archive: 1979 Norfolk Granby Mall – WAVY TV 10 on YouTube