In the 1950s, the City of Norfolk and the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) carried out a series of urban renewal and redevelopment programs to reshape downtown. These programs, alongside significant legislative action in Virginia to change the structure of the financial industry statewide, resulted in the development of what became the Downtown Norfolk Financial Historic District. Located in the heart of downtown, and southeast of the Downtown Norfolk Historic District, the district consists of a collection of high-rise buildings, parking decks, plazas, and pedestrian walkways designed in International, Brutalist, New Formalism, and other modernist styles by nationally and locally renowned architecture firms. The development of the district began in 1967 with the construction of the Virginia National Bank Headquarters Building. Starting from the 1950s, when planning efforts began, into the ‘60s and ‘70s, the city and the NRHA prioritized designs and improvements to the district’s infrastructure to ensure convenience for pedestrians, a decision the city hoped would, in turn, keep people and businesses downtown. Constructed as part of the Downtown Norfolk revitalization plan, the buildings and structures of the Downtown Norfolk Financial Historic District are a testament to the city’s efforts to be seen as a successful and modern financial center comparable to that in the commonwealth’s capital city of Richmond.
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