The Hampton Downtown Historic District has been an active port on the Chesapeake Bay since the end of the 17th century. The colonial assembly ordered that a port be built there in 1691 and laid out the plat for the original crossroads of King and Queen Streets in the same year, although a community had existed in the vicinity since 1610. This crossing point represents one of the earliest examples of town planning in English America and has been the focal point of downtown Hampton from the colonial period to the modern era. Hampton began its history as one of the most important coastal cities in America but its growth was hampered by the War of 1812, the burning of the city at the outset of the Civil War, and another great fire in 1884. Only in the late 19th century did it begin to recover. As a result of those fires, despite being one of the earliest English settlements in the U.S., the majority of the Hampton Downtown Historic District’s buildings date from the latter 19th century through the mid-20th century.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark