Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

124-0006 Portsmouth Courthouse

Portsmouth Courthouse
Photo credit: Elizabeth Lipford/DHR, 2022

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/07/1970

NRHP Listing Date 04/29/1970

NRHP Reference Number 70000876

Portsmouth’s former courthouse, the pivotal landmark of the city’s Four Corners at the intersection of Court and High streets, was built in 1846 as the Norfolk County Courthouse. It continued in that capacity until 1960 when the county was incorporated as the city of Chesapeake and the seat of government moved to Great Bridge. The building served as the Portsmouth Courthouse into the next decade when its functions were transferred to a modern facility. The Greek Revival building, with a lean Doric portico above a high basement, was designed by Portsmouth native William B. Singleton and was described after its completion as “a beautiful structure, highly ornamental to the town.” The Old Portsmouth Courthouse is now a cultural center with its exterior restored to its original appearance, including the reconstruction of its long vanished cupola.  It contributes to the Downtown Portsmouth Historic District.

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: April 18, 2022