The Williamston-Woodland Historic District in Norfolk represents a good example of early commercial and light manufacturing and industrial growth in the city. The district reveals the movement of these types of enterprises out of the historic downtown during the latter 19th century and first half of the 20th century. That movement was sparked by the construction in 1884 of the Lambert’s Point spur of the Norfolk & Western rail line. The new line enabled developers to transform the Williamston and Woodland district into a dense commercial and light industrial area. The Williamston tract was originally planned as housing lots for downtown employees. When that development plan went bankrupt in 1906, six-parcel lots were sold off, opening the way for commercial and industrial development. At the district’s core is a concentration of several types of early-to-mid-20th-century commercial building styles and types. The area is also closely associated with Benjamin and David L. Margolius, brothers who operated a large bagging facility as well as owned interests in several other businesses in the district. Members of one of the most prominent Jewish and business families in the city, the brothers also served on bank and corporation boards.
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