For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF
VLR Listing Date 10/14/1986
NRHP Listing Date 12/04/1986
DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement
NRHP Reference Number 86003441
The completion of St. John’s African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1888 symbolized the beginning of a period of ascendancy for Norfolk’s African American congregations. The church was the first of a series of architecturally assertive black churches to adorn the city. Its architect, Charles M. Cassell, was one of the most respected Norfolk architects of the period. Cassell’s design is a red brick interpretation of the Romanesque Revival style popularized by architect H.H. Richardson. Lending awe to the interior are an enormous stained-glass window and a complex hammer-beam ceiling. The congregation began in 1840 as a mission for slaves. It obtained its independence in 1863 during the Union occupation and joined the A.M.E. denomination in 1864. Five bishops were consecrated at the St. John’s African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1908 during the Twenty-Third Quadrennial Session of the A.M.E. Church.
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
Updated: June 27, 2022