Rev. Frank Hughes, Jr.
 
South Norfolk, Virginia
A Demographic Study

South Norfolk Historic District is a national historic district located at Chesapeake, Virginia. The district encompasses 668 contributing buildings and 1 contributing site in what started as a planned community of Norfolk County, Virginia and grew to become an independent city. Wikipedia

Area: 480 acres

Added to NRHP: January 27, 1989

NRHP Reference Number: 88003133

 

South Norfolk Historic District is a national historic district located at Chesapeake, Virginia. The district encompasses 668 contributing buildings and 1 contributing site in what started as a planned community of Norfolk County, Virginia and grew to become an independent city. South Norfolk was never part of Norfolk, Virginia. In fact, the two cities are separated by the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River. South Norfolk is a primarily residential district that was developed between 1890 and 1930. The dwellings include representative examples of the Colonial Revival, Stick Style, and Queen Anne styles. The district also includes several churches, a school, a park, and a small local business district.[3]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.[1]

References

1.       

  National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.

    "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 5 June 2013.

  Priscilla M. Thompson and Barbara E. Benson (July 1987). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: South Norfolk Historic District" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. and Accompanying photo and Accompanying map.

Located a few miles south of the larger city of Norfolk along the Southern Branch Elizabeth River, South Norfolk became an incorporated town in Norfolk County in 1919. Within three years, it became an independent city.

 

In the early 1920s, streetcars ran from Ocean View in Norfolk, to South Norfolk. There was a ferry that docked at the end of Indian River Road and crossed the Southern Branch Elizabeth River to Portsmouth.

 

The much larger independent city of Norfolk expanded rapidly into the adjacent communities after World War II. In 1963, after a referendum in South Norfolk and Norfolk County and with approval from the Virginia General Assembly, South Norfolk and Norfolk County merged to form the independent city of Chesapeake in 1963. The new name was also selected through a voter referendum.

 

Historical population

Census          Pop.              

1920 7,724                       

1930 7,857                        1.7%

1940 8,038                        2.3%

1950 10,434                      29.8%

1960 22,035                      111.2%

1920-1960 Population as the City of South Norfolk
It's South Norfolk folks, not "SoNo."

The new catch-phrase for South Norfolk, etymologically, "sono" from the Latin "somnus" or "sonus," meaning "sleep; state of sleep;" or as a Latin verb, "sono," meaning, "make a noise;"  take your pick, (both ring hollow) has been used of late as a marketing ploy, to prey on the masses as a come-on, to shop or live in South Norfolk. "SONO"...are we talking about the Japanese Resturant?  Maybe the financial stock, "Sono."  Or "Sono" the rock band in Hamburg, Germany. 

A historic district or heritage district is a section of a city, which contains older buildings considered valuable for historical or architectural reasons.  "SoNo" does nothing to enhance that definition. 
Only a bourgeois, down-market, de clase baja individual could have come up with that moniker to denote what is suppose to be a 'historic' district.

1930

1940

Population

129,710

144,332

Native-born white

62.6%

65.5%

African American

33.9%

31.8%

Foreign-born white

3.3%

2.5%

  • Description and Characteristics of Area A level area about 60% built up. A new development of small homes is taking place in the southerly portion of the area. The majority of the new houses are bungalows of fair construction built on lots 50 x 100 feet. Elsewhere in the area a few two-family houses have been built within the last twelve months, ranging in the neighborhood of $6,500. A majority of the streets in the area are hard surfaced, but there are no sidewalks. Street lighting is poor. There is new high school and playground in the approximate center of the area. Grade schools, churches and neighborhood stores are considered convenient. Chesapeake Ave. and Jackson Ave. are principal thoroughfares. Adequate transportation is afforded by streetcar. The new construction about referred to is not proceeding rapidly and is not of such a nature as to improve the general grade of the neighborhood, and its future is questionable since the area is outlying and too close to fertilizer plants located to the south and west. The tracks of the Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad are adjacent to the south and the area is surrounded by sparsely settled sections inhabited by mixed population, so that approach is poor.
  • Population
    • Shifting or Infiltration: none
    • Foreign Families0%
      Nationalities empty
    • Negro empty
    • Class and Occupation: Merchants - clerks - mechanics - few professional
The map below, developed in the 1930s, shows the center of what is now called "Historic South Norfolk" in 'Yellow' which indicates "Definitely Declining." The North and East side is denoted in 'Red' which indicates "Hazardous."
South Norfolk Poindexter Strategic Deelopment Plan