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Norfolk: Recreation

Norfolk: Recreation

Sightseeing

Visitors to Norfolk can observe giant aircraft carriers and guided-missile cruisers juxtaposed with sailboats and pedestrian ferries in the city's busy harbor. As home to the world's largest naval base, Naval Station Norfolk, the port has many significant U.S. Marine, U.S. Coast Guard, and NATO facilities as well. The Spirit of Norfolk passenger ship offers lunch and dinner cruises along Norfolk's scenic and historic waterfront.

Sightseeing harbor cruises are also provided by the three-masted schooner American Rover, the Mississippi-style paddle-wheeler Carrie B, and the sleek ship Spirit of Norfolk. Trolley tours to the city's major historic and cultural attractions are offered daily from the Waterside complex. Tour buses also make trips to Naval Station Norfolk, home port to more than 100 ships of the Atlantic fleet.

Nauticus, the National Maritime Center, is a 120,000 square foot science center with a nautical theme that celebrates the region's rich maritime heritage. It offers interactive exhibits, a shark tank, a weather forecasting lab, a giant-screen theater, and hands-on displays for all ages, as well as traveling exhibits. Within Nauticus is the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, which introduces tourists to more than two centuries of naval history through ship models, works of art, and artifacts from sunken ships. Docked outside is the 1933 tugboat Huntington, which houses a tugboat museum that salutes the "Workhorses of the Waterways." The largest and last battleship ever built by the U.S. Navy is also moored next to Nauticus; visitors can take self-guided tours across the decks of the World War II vessel, the USS Wisconsin.

Strollers through Town Point Park can stop by the Armed Forces Memorial, which has on display descriptions of life during wartime taken from letters written home by U.S. service people who were killed in wars, from the American Revolution to the Persian Gulf War. The region's military history is further reflected in Fort Norfolk, with brick and earthwork buildings dating back to 1810. It is surrounded by a wall and ramparts built to protect the structure against invasion by the British.

Nearby is the picturesque Freemason district, Norfolk's oldest existing neighborhood. There visitors can walk along cobblestone streets, following the Cannonball Trail through 400 years of recorded history and past the Willoughby-Baylor House (a 1794 Federal townhouse that features period furnishings), Freemason Street Baptist Church, the cannonball-studded wall of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and the Confederate Memorial. Norfolk's Freemason District is also part of the Civil War Trails system, linking more than 200 Civil War sites around and beyond the city. Included in Norfolk is the Black Civil War Memorial, which stands as the only recognition of African American troops to date in the South.

The Ghent district, Norfolk's first planned community, is a combination of restored houses, galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and antique shops. The Hermitage Foundation Museum is housed in a wooded setting on the Lafayette River on a 12-acre estate. Within the splendid English Tudor home are displays of European ceramics and paintings, German hand-painted glass objets d'art, ivory carvings, Persian rugs, and ritual bronzes and ceramic tomb figures from China.

For more than a century the Virginia Zoological Park has provided a look into the lives of many kinds of animals, which now number more than 350 and range from white rhinos to red-ruffed lemurs. The most recent addition is a male African lion named Mramba; the lion is part of a long-term breeding and conservation effort at select zoos across the country. The zoo grounds are divided into habitats of animals from various continents in large enclosures that encourage natural behaviors. On a path that features interactive exhibits about African river deltas and other ecological zones, visitors encounter many interesting animals and sights, including a unique dismal swamp exhibit. The Norfolk Botanical Gardens encompasses 155 acres of colorful flower gardens; in 2005, a special exhibition titled "Treasure Island" will lead visitors to themed destinations and offer a variety of interactive, educational activities for children of all ages. Boat trips are available through the garden's waterways with their brilliant exotic blooms.

Arts and Culture

The Chrysler Museum of Art contains a collection of 30,000 original works from many time periods and geographic areas. The American Painting and Sculpture collection contains a selection of colonial and folk art offerings along with examples of American Impressionism. The European Painting and Sculpture collection features Italian Renaissance, Baroque, Dutch, and French works from such masters as Rubens, de Clerck, and Renoir. The showpiece exhibit may be a magnificent 8,000-piece glass collection featuring wonderful Tiffany and Lalique displays.

The D'Art Center is comprised of 30 studios in which artists both create and sell their works; visitors can tour the studios to watch painters, sculptors, potters, and jewelry makers at work.

Military museums abound in Norfolk, including The National Maritime Center and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. The latter incorporates 225 years of Hampton Roads naval history and operates the living history experience aboard the USS Wisconsin.

Downtown Norfolk provides a number of opportunities to see what life was like in the early days of the city, including the Hermitage Foundation Museum (a Tudor home from 1908) and the Hunter House Victorian Museum (built in 1894 by architect W.D. Wentworth).

Norfolk boasts the oldest theater designed, developed, financed, and operated entirely by African Americansthe Attucks Theatre, named for the African American man who fell as the first casualty of the American Revolution. The theater has recently been renovated after being closed in the mid 1950s, with the aim of again hosting luminaries of the caliber of Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole.

Norfolk's premiere performing arts center is Chrysler Hall, which annually stages the Broadway at Chrysler Hall series, touring productions of musicals and plays, and a star-studded roster of musical and spoken-word performers. Harrison Opera House is home to the well-respected Virginia Opera, which offers five productions annually in addition to other dance, music and theatrical works. The opera building also houses the Virginia Opera's Education and Outreach Program, sending resident artists into the public schools to awaken students to the joys, passions and tragedies that are opera. The Virginia Stage Company professional theater produces six major shows yearly, as well as smaller shows and children's theater activities at the historic and elegant Wells Theater. Several small, local theater groups also operate in the Norfolk region, including the Generic Theater (off-beat theater), the Little Theatre of Norfolk (one of the nation's oldest community theaters) and the Hurrah Players (family theater starring aspiring performers).

Hampton Roads' sole professional dance company is the Virginia Ballet Theatre, which is one of only two professional companies in the entire state of Virginia. The Ballet Theatre was created in 1961 to promote regional ballet, train young dancers, and provide a creative center for the performing arts.

The Virginia Symphony performs more than 140 concerts each year, from classical to pops. The group also offers young people's concerts. Under the current maestro, the Symphony has recorded five CDs for national release, performed "Peter and the Wolf" for airing on National Public Radio, and played the Kennedy Center in January 2000. The Virginia Symphony also lends orchestral support to the Virginia Opera.

The Virginia Chorale has, since 1984, been the common-wealth's only fully professional choral group, performing music from all time periods and particularly skilled in a cappella renditions. The Chorale offers Masters Classes and the Young Singers Project as part of their outreach and education endeavors.

The Governor's School for the Arts, at home in Norfolk, plays a pivotal role in keeping the arts alive in the Hampton Roads area. Art education programs are offered in dance, vocal and instrumental music, theater, and visual arts, with a number of student productions performed to further develop the artists and showcase their burgeoning talents.

Festivals and Holidays

Norfolk enjoys a variety of events and festivals at different sites around the city. In September, Town Point Park is the site of three related events: the Virginia in Water Boat Expo, the Norfolk Seafood Sampler, and the Beach Music Festival. For cinema aficionados, the SOL Film Festival comes to downtown Norfolk in early October, with independent films competing for prizes. October breezes also bring the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner race, a three-day race designed to increase awareness of the fragile ecosystem contained in the Bay. The race concludes at Town Point Park, where the racing vessels line up and create a backdrop for the Town Point Virginia Wine Festival. At this event, more than 25 Virginia wineries provide samplings; also featured are gourmet foods, specialty crafts, and live musical entertainment. The holidays are welcomed with the Grand Illumination Parade and its associated events that take place in downtown Norfolk and nearby Portsmouth, including a progressive dinner termed "Wine and Dine."

Norfolk celebrates St. Patrick's Day on March 17 with the Greening of Ghent, which includes a parade and party in the Ghent neighborhood. April's events include the International Azalea Festival at the Botanical Gardens, and the Virginia International Tattoo, a spectacle of music featuring drill teams, massed pipe and drum corps, gymnasts, and folk dancers. The Tattoo is part of Virginia's Arts Festival, a month-long celebration of the arts that includes classical music, jazz, and chamber music events, as well as dance and visual arts exhibitions that take place throughout the region.

May is the time for the Cinco de Mayo Celebration featuring Mexican food and music, the annual Town Point Jazz and Blues Festival, and the Afr'Am Fest, a weekend cultural celebration of ethnic music, dance, theater and exhibits. The Elizabeth Riverfront in Town Point Park is the site of numerous music, arts, and cultural festivals throughout the spring and summer months. In June the Norfolk Harborfest celebrates the region's rich nautical heritage. Independence Day brings the Great American Picnic and Celebration, which ends with a spectacular fireworks display. The last big event of the summer is the Norfolk Latino Festival in late August, celebrating the heat with spicy cuisine, smokin' music, and sizzling art.

Sports for the Spectator

Norfolk fans watch the puck drop to start the games of the Hampton Roads Admirals of the American Hockey League, who play at Norfolk SCOPE. The Norfolk Tides baseball team, a minor league affiliate of the New York Mets, play at the Riverfront's Harbor Park. Rugby fans can enjoy Norfolk Blue rugby team matches; the highly successful club has been playing in the Norfolk area since 1978. Norfolk State University varsity teams compete in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association football league, while Old Dominion's men's and women's basketball teams are both Division I NCAA competitors. Other Old Dominion University sport offerings include baseball, soccer, women's field hockey, track and field events, and a variety of club sports. The Virginia Wesleyan Marlins play basketball in Division III of the NCAA and can entertain fans with a selection of varsity and club sports.

Sports for the Participant

Surrounded by all that water, it's natural that the Norfolk area entices avid rowers, sea kayakers, swimmers, jet skiers and windsurfers. Fishing can become a religion for some, with access to Chesapeake species such as speckled trout, flounder, bluefish, rockfish, and more. A number of private companies run charters out of the Chesapeake Bay area. The City of Norfolk Police Department coordinates the Police Athletic League, or PAL, which gives local youth a chance to participate in volleyball, boxing, basketball, football, girls' softball and track events. Golfers can go 18 holes on any of three public golf courses: Lake Wright Golf Course, Stumpy Lake Golf Course and Ocean View Golf Course. Nearby Virginia Beach is home to even more public and private courses. The Tidewater Tennis Center and Northside Park, where many local tournaments are held, are but two of more than a dozen tennis courts in the city.

Venturing outside of Norfolk, there are spectacular hikes in Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains approximately 2.5 hours northwest of the Tidewater region. The Old Rag Summit Ridge Trail is often recommended, as is the section of the Appalachian Trail that meanders through the park.

Shopping and Dining

MacArthur Center, a regional shopping mecca, is within walking distance of the local convention center. The $300 million complex offers more than a million square feet of shops, restaurants and entertainment centers, with Nordstrom and Dillards as its anchor stores. The Selden Arcade downtown in the city's financial district offers clothing shops, bookstores, and jewelry shops. The upscale Ghent Shopping District is known for its home furnishings, boutiques, and clothing shops. Military Circle is a mega-mall that offers department stores and a cinema. JANAF Shopping Center offers bargains on clothing, sports equipment, and home furnishings. For an eclectic mix of retailers, restaurateurs and entertainers, the Waterside Festival Marketplace is the place to be; located right on the water, with ferries and boat tours departing from the premises, it's a one-stop-shop for food and fun.

Speaking of food, Norfolk's southern location means that diners can get quality soul food, including ribs, fried chicken, collard greens, biscuits, and other delectables. The community is home to an astonishing number of establishments serving Italian food, with northern Italian cuisine coming on strong at present. Southwestern and Mexican restaurants are also plentiful, with a couple of spots dedicated to the art of tapas. Diners can catch a taste of fresh seafood at a number of places along the waterfront and beyond. Being a port city with a constant international influence, Norfolk eateries cater to a broad variety of other tastes as well, including French, Mediterranean, Cajun/Creole, German, Caribbean, Indian, Greek, Irish, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and American fare.

Visitor Information: Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau, 232 E. Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510; telephone (757)664-6620; toll-free (800)368-3097

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Norfolk: History

Norfolk: History

In the Beginning

Beginning in about 9500 B.C., the area that is now Norfolk was called Skicoak, and was ruled by the Chesipean Indians.

But by the time the first Europeans reached the area, the tribe members had been driven out or killed by Chief Powhatan, after one of his advisors told Powhatan that in a dream he had seen the Powhatan Confederacy destroyed by strangers from the East. Powhatan thought this was a sign he should destroy the Chesipeans, even though they were a peaceful people.

In the 1560s, settlers arrived from Spain, briefly living along the York River in a Jesuit community called Ajacan. Initially, the plan was to convert the Indians, but when the native people attacked the settlement in 1571, the Spanish abandoned Ajacan. The English were the next to test the area as a colony site, establishing Roanoke Settlement in 1585 under the guidance of Sir Walter Raleigh. The initial group of colonists abandoned Roanoke the next year and were followed by a second group in 1587; this second settlement disappeared without a trace by 1590 in one of the enduring mysteries of early recorded American history.

In 1624 Virginia became a Royal Colony when King James I of England granted 500 acres of land in what is now the Ocean View section of Norfolk to Thomas Willoughby. Twelve years later, King Charles I of England gave Willoughby 200 additional acres, and this also became part of the original town of Norfolk.

In 1670, the British government directed the "building of storehouses to receive imported merchandise. . .and tobacco for export." This marked the beginning of Norfolk's importance as a port city. In 1673 the Virginia House of Burgesses called for the construction of Half Moon fort at the site of what is now Town Point Park.

City Prospers, Then Faces Destruction and Rebuilding

In 1682 England decreed that the "Towne of Lower Norfolk County" be established. The town was incorporated in 1705 and rechartered as a borough in 1736. For several decades the building of homes, farms, and businesses continued throughout the area, and Norfolk developed into a center for West Indies trade and the shipping of export products from the plantations of Virginia and the Carolinas. By 1775, Norfolk was known as the most prosperous city in Virginia.

The city served as a center for Tory forces during the American Revolution. On New Year's Day 1776, English ships under Royal Governor Lord Dunmore opened fire on the city, continuing their assault for eleven hours. High winds whipped up the flames and two-thirds of the city was destroyed by fire or cannonballs. By month's end the patriot colonists had torched the rest of the city to prevent the sheltering of Lord Dunmore and his forces. Every building in the city was destroyed by fire or cannonballs except Saint Paul's Church; a British cannonball remains in the wall of the church as testimony to the conflict. After the war, the citizens rallied and the city was rebuilt. In time it became a major shipbuilding and maritime center. In 1810, the U.S. government constructed a new fort at the site of dilapidated old Fort Norfolk. At that time the city's population stood at about 9,000 people.

Ports, Forts and Exports

The nineteenth century brought more troubles for the city. A major fire in 1804 destroyed 300 houses, warehouses, and stores. The population, which had been growing steadily, actually declined from more than 9,000 people in 1810 to 8,478 people by 1820.

Conveniently situated on the water and philosophically allied with the agitating Confederate states, Norfolk in 1821 became the embarkation point for African and African American individuals being sent back to Africa. Norfolk native Joseph Jenkins Roberts went on to become the first president of the Republic of Liberia after being deported. Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, with the Norfolk Navy Yard assuming a critical role as vessels docked there were burned or scuttled, including the famed Merrimac. It was in the Navy Yard that the Merrimac was rebuilt as an ironclad vessel renamed the Virginia, which went on to engage in the first ironclad battle against the Monitor. In May 1862, early in the Civil War, Norfolk was captured by Union forces. The troops ransacked the houses of the citizenry and forced passengers on local ferries to trample on the Confederate flag.

At the end of the Civil War, Norfolk buildings were in ruins and the city's foreign trade was nonexistent. At that time, the population stood at about 19,000 citizens. But within 20 years the city experienced a turnaround and three-story brick buildings lined the streets of Norfolk, which by then had thriving hotels and a large farmers' market. Steamships visited the port regularly and rail service connected it with other parts of the country. The 1880 population had grown to 21,966 residents.

And the Pendulum Swings: Prosperity, Then Depression Times

In 1907, the Jamestown Exposition, held to celebrate the 300-year history of that nearby city, led to Norfolk's building several downtown hotels and office buildings. Visitors came from every state and dignitaries traveled from around the world to take part in the seven-month run of the event.

Norfolk's tremendous military growth began during World War I. In 1917, the land that was the site of the Jamestown Exposition became the U.S. Naval Operating Base and Training Station, which was later renamed Naval Station Norfolk. It was during this time that Norfolk was nationally recognized for leading the country in Navy recruitment. Between 1910 and 1920 the city's population grew from around 67,000 people to nearly 116,000 people as the city also experienced an influx of workers at numerous new private manufacturing plants.

Prosperity declined after the heady war years, when Norfolk handled much of the coal that came by train from West Virginia to be shipped elsewhere. In 1922 Norfolk helped establish solid economic ground for itself by building a $5 million grain elevator and terminal. It also built a $500,000 farmers' market and annexed 27 square miles of nearby land, which included the Navy base area and the Ocean View resort district. Because of large-scale naval operations, the city did not suffer as much from the Great Depression as some others, and by 1940 the population stood at more than 144,000 residents.

New Development Follows War Years

With the coming of World War II, Norfolk once again saw thousands of workers descend on the city and the region, where more than 100 ships and landing craft were built during the war. The war years saw a rapid increase in the development of individual residences and apartment buildings, and the city struggled to deal with overcrowding. Between 1940 and 1944, the population practically doubled. That period also saw the expansion of furniture manufacturing, fertilizer plants, and other industries.

In the years after World War II, Norfolk began a campaign to annex neighboring counties. Slums were cleared and public housing was constructed. In addition, hundreds of acres of land in the downtown were razed and rebuilt. Much of this redevelopment was spurred by the SCOPE Convention and Cultural Center. This facility includes the Chrysler Museum and Chrysler Hall, named in honor of automobile mogul Walter P. Chrysler, who donated his extensive art collection to the city.

In 1952 the Elizabeth River Tunnel between Norfolk and Portsmouth was completed, and a second tunnel followed 10 years later. By then the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel linking Norfolk to the nearby city of Hampton was also built.

Virginia's third medical college, the Eastern Virginia Medical School, was built in Norfolk in 1973. During the next decade old buildings were razed and the Waterside Festival Marketplace, Town Point Park, and a number of condominiums were built along Norfolk's waterfront. Between 1950 and 1980 the population grew from 213,513 people to nearly 267,000 people. The 1980s saw development in the city that included th National Maritime Center, a new baseball stadium, and the construction of the Ghent Square neighborhood containing restored upscale residences.

In June 2000 the city was home to OpSail 2000, the largest tall ship and maritime event in history. Norfolk served as one of only six U.S. host ports for the events, which involved a fleet of 150 ships from more than 50 nations.

Today, Norfolk continues its long tradition of self-renewal with ambitious building projects in the downtown area strategically planned to continue through 2010, new residential developments along the water, and revitalization efforts within the abundance of varied historical neighborhoods. The Navy and the port continue to define Norfolk's character; the battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin is docked at Norfolk, with the National Maritime Center nearby on the waterfront. No matter what else changes in Norfolk, the sea stays at its core.

Historical Information: Norfolk County Historical Society, PO Box 6367, Norfolk, VA 23508-0367

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Norfolk: Economy

Norfolk: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Norfolk serves as the business and financial center of the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. Shipbuilding and shipping are a vital part of Norfolk's economy, with the city's 45-foot-deep channel allowing it to accommodate very large ships. As a major seaport through which millions of tons of cargo pass each year, it handles such commodities as tobacco, cotton, timber, coal, truck crops, and grain.

With an ideal harbor and waterways, the city is the site of the Naval Base Norfolk, the largest naval base in the United States and the world. It also serves as home to the headquarters of the Fifth Naval District of the Atlantic Fleet and the Second Fleet, and it houses the district headquarters of the Coast Guard. In addition to the thousands of U.S. Navy personnel stationed in Norfolk, many local citizens also work in naval operations. The city is second only to San Diego, California, in the number of retired navy men and women who reside there.

Local industries include ship and light truck manufacturing, creation of law enforcement and military equipment, plastic production and communications. Between the rich local history and the presence of a plethora of seaside resorts, tourism is another important local industry. Local boats provide ferry service to nearby Portsmouth.

Items and goods produced: chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, automobiles, ships, military and law enforcement equipment, agricultural machinery, seafood, and peanut oil

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

Through its Local Enterprise Zone Incentive Program, the city of Norfolk offers local tax and fee reductions on a five-year declining percentage ratio for business license and utility tax. In the first year of qualification a one-time-only 50 percent reduction is allowed on fees related to building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits. In the case of businesses that invest a minimum of $500,000 in the Local Enterprise Zone, the city agrees to complete complementary public improvements in the immediate vicinity. Additionally, the city offers security audits free of charge to businesses in the zone.

State programs

In its State Enterprise Zone Program, the State of Virginia offers tax incentives, property tax incentives, sales and use tax exemptions, and job grants. Among Virginia's tax credits are a General Income Tax Credit (up to 80 percent in the first year and 60 percent in years 2-10) and a Real Property Improvement Tax Credit (up to 30 percent, not to exceed $125,000 within a 5 year period).

Job training programs

In the Hampton Roads area, Opportunity, Inc., provides employers and job seekers with necessary networks and resources in an effort to achieve their mission of "strengthening the localized talent pool of workers to match private sector investments in technology, capital, and product improvement." Acting under the auspices of the Hampton Roads Workforce Development Board and funded through the Workforce Investment Act, the agency offers workshops, links to online tools and access to a statewide collection of strategic partners.

The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce also supports the Workforce Focus program, which keeps local employers abreast of labor market trends, employment best practices and workforce resources.

Development Projects

The Norfolk 2010 strategic plan calls for a menu of renovation and new construction in the downtown and outlying areas; new office space, retail trade facilities, entertainment enterprises, and hotels are currently being built in the revitalized city center. The Chesapeake Bay project began construction in 2003 and will eventually house 237 luxury condominiums along an attractive Harbor Walk. The development will be mixed use, presenting an urban feel to a beachfront area designed to encourage pedestrian usage. Additionally, Trader Publishing announced in August 2004 that it plans to bring its national headquarters to downtown Norfolk, which will bring 1,600 new jobs to the area.

On the former site of a brick and earthwork fort, the new Fort Norfolk has been taking shape as the bridge between the downtown area and the Hampton Roads major medical complex. Construction of a $30 million Public Health Center contributed a biotech incubator, in which bioelectric research and experimentation will be conducted. The facility is joined to the Eastern Virginia Medical School by a walk-way and has also allowed for vast expansion of the medical school's Edward E. Brickell Medical Service Library. The city of Norfolk demonstrated considerable foresight in designating Plum Point as open space, a parcel of land that was donated by the Virginia Port Authority.

Further capitalizing on its layers of history and potential for increased tourist trade, the City of Norfolk is supporting the renovation of several historic structures in the Church Street district within the city center. The Attucks Theater, begun in 1919 and named after the African American man who was the first casualty of the American Revolution, is the oldest theater in the state and remains a landmark for African Americans throughout the U.S. The Crispus Attucks Cultural Center, Inc., will additionally receive its share of attention as the city continues to build on its history.

Old Dominion University and its Real Estate Foundation have partnered with the City of Norfolk in expanding and updating the campus, including office and research facilities, shopping areas, a convocation hall and other components of what is being called the University Village.

Economic Development Information: Department of Development, City of Norfolk, 500 East Main St., Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510; telephone (757)664-4338

Commercial Shipping

In 2004, more than 14.7 million tons of cargo passed through the port of Virginia in Norfolk, a 6 percent increase from the previous year. Between the purchase of eight Suez-class cranes and a $280 million dollar renovation and expansion, the port is poised to compete for the number one spot as an East Coast container port. Exports of coal, food products, tobacco, and the majority of grain from the United States pass through the port of Norfolk.

Norfolk International Airport provides a cargo service in support of the city's 135 motor freight carriers. Railroad freight carriers include the Norfolk Southern, Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line, Norfolk & Western, Southern, Eastern Shore, and CSX railroads.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

The Chamber of Commerce notes that the local workforce is numerous but unprepared for the new employment opportunities offered by the community's companies. Efforts have been underway since at least 2003 to enlist the support of Hampton Roads employers in advocating for classes and degree programs that are tailored more closely to the needs of local industries; at the same time, the city continues to focus on attracting technological, medical and industrial companies that will entice graduates of the region's universities to stay and work locally.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Norfolk metropolitan area labor force as of 2003.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 730,800

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 44,700

manufacturing: 59,800

trade, transportation and public utilities: 134,900

information: 16,100

financial activities: 38,000

professional and business services: 98,800

educational and health services: 78,100

leisure and hospitality: 77,300

other services: 33,500

government: 149,800

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $18.42

Unemployment rate: 4.0% (December 2004)

Largest employers Number of employees
Sentara Health Care 15,000
City of Norfolk 6,000
Norfolk Public School District 5,280
Naval Station Norfolk 4,000
Old Dominion University 1,600
Norfolk Southern 1,100

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Norfolk area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $266,775

2004 (3rd quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 102.1 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: 2.0% to 5.75% (corporate business tax rate: 6%)

State sales tax rate: 3.5%; 3.0% on food

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: Based on 100% of Fair Market Value × $1.40 per $100 of assessed valuation ($1.58 per $100.00 for the business district).

Economic Information: Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 327, Norfolk, VA 23501; telephone (757)622-2312

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Norfolk: Education and Research

Norfolk: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Norfolk Public School District is noted for its ethnic and racial diversity, largely as a result of the local military presence. Norfolk schools offer many special programs, such as gifted and special education programs and also utilize community-based education to reify the academic concepts being taught in classes. For example, Norfolk Public School District students have developed an artificial reef and grown their own oysters in conjunction with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and its Oyster Restoration Program. The innovations and improvements in the district received statewide attention in May 2004 with the selection of the superintendent, Dr. John Simpson, as Virginia Superintendent of the Year.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Norfolk public school system as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 36,724

Number of facilities elementary schools: 35

junior high/middle schools: 8

senior high schools: 5

Student/teacher ratio: 11:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $27,640

maximum: $73,731

Funding per pupil: $7,403

The area is also host to a variety of specialized education programs, from private schools founded in a particular religion, to Headstart programs, to technical/vocational schools.

Public Schools Information: Norfolk Public Schools, 800 E. City Hall Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23510; telephone (757)628-3843

Colleges and Universities

Norfolk is home to a number of institutions of higher learning that span the spectrum of vocational specialty schools, community colleges, and colleges or universities. Old Dominion University is a public coeducational school and a sea- and space-grant institution with a combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment of about 20,802 students. From baccalaureate to doctoral programs, Old Dominion grants degrees in education, liberal arts, business and public administration, sciences, health sciences, engineering, and technology. The university capitalizes on its proximity to the naval base and the Virginia Space Flight Center on Wallops Island, creating fieldwork experiences that contribute to those industries.

Virginia Wesleyan College, with 1,400 students, is a private liberal arts college that emphasizes the value of gaining real-world experience through internships, field work, study abroad, and community service. The college offers baccalaureate degrees in various divisions of the humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and the social sciences.

Norfolk State University is one of the largest predominantly African American institutions in the United States, with an enrollment approaching 8,000 students. It has undergraduate schools in business, education, liberal arts, social work, and science and technology, as well as 18 graduate departments.

The Eastern Virginia Medical School is a public institution with its main campus at Norfolk's Eastern Virginia Medical Center. It has 2,565 students enrolled in a selection of medical degree programs that lead to careers as physician's assistants, nurses, doctors, and researchers. The school is supported by a teaching hospital, a model that the Norfolk General Hospital also employs.

At ITT Technical Institute, students are enrolled in baccalaureate and associate degree programs in information technology, electronics technology, drafting and design, business, and criminal justice.

Libraries and Research Centers

The more than 100 year old Norfolk Public Library system contains nearly 1 million books and subscribes to more than 1,250 periodicals. It serves patrons through 12 branches and a bookmobile. The library has special sections on African-American literature, business, juvenile literature, and local history. Within the next 10 years, the Norfolk Public Library plans to upgrade neighborhood branch facilities, renovate or rebuild the main library, and increase its efforts in the area of child literacy.

The city's Chrysler Museum of Art houses the Jean Outland Chrysler Library, containing 80,000 books, with special emphasis on Western European and American painting, drawing, sculpture, Art Nouveau decorative arts, textiles, glass, art history, and photography. The library's archives are home to many treasures, not the least of which is Mark Twain's original typescript of a speech he delivered at the Tricentennial Exposition of 1907 in Jamestown.

MacArthur Memorial Library and Archives has special collections on the life of American General Douglas MacArthur, who is buried nearby, and on American wars in the first half of the twentieth century. The U.S. Navy's Submarine Force Library and Archives has 6,000 volumes focusing on submarine development, salvage and history. The Joint Forces Staff College Library, with 113,000 scholarly volumes and periodicals, is available only to military personnel.

There are also college libraries at Virginia Wesleyan College, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University. Medical libraries are found at the local hospitals, at Norfolk Psychiatric Center, and at Eastern Virginia Medical School. The Norfolk Law Library provides legal reference material to the public, lawyers and the courts.

Specialized research facilities include the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, which focuses on the study of human reproduction, and Old Dominion University, which is home to a diverse collection of research facilities ranging from the Langley Full-Scale Wind Tunnel to the Center for Advanced Ship Repair and Maintenance. Old Dominion University's Office of Research acts as a clearing house for research efforts centralized at the university.

Marine and naval research facilities abound within Naval Station Norfolk, including a laboratory that focuses on specific medical issues related to service in a submarine.

Public Library Information: Norfolk Public Library, 301 E. City Hall Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23510; telephone (757)664-4000

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Norfolk (cities, United States)

Norfolk (1,2 nôr´fək; 2 nôr´fôk´). 1 City (1990 pop. 21,476), Madison co., NE Nebr., on the Elkhorn River; inc. 1881. A trade and railroad center in a fertile farming region, it has a livestock market. Its industries produce animal feeds, food and beverages, and electronic products.

2 City (1990 pop. 261,229), independent and in no county, SE Va., on the Elizabeth River and the southern side of Hampton Roads; founded 1682, inc. as a city 1845. It is a port of entry and a major commercial, industrial, shipping, and distribution center. With Portsmouth and Newport News, it forms the Port of Hampton Roads, one of the world's best natural harbors. The city has 50 mi (80 km) of waterfront and an extensive maritime trade, exporting coal, grain, tobacco, seafood, and farm products. Industries include shipbuilding, meat and seafood processing, and the manufacture of lumber, steel, sheet metal, leather products, farm implements, textiles, trucks, and furniture.

Norfolk is also a major military center; with Portsmouth the city forms an extensive naval complex. The headquarters of the 5th Naval Dist., the Atlantic Fleet, the 2d Fleet, and the Supreme Allied Command are there. The operating base is the largest in the United States and includes a naval air station and other facilities. The Norfolk navy yard is in Portsmouth.

Of interest in Norfolk are St. Paul's Church (1738; only building to survive the burning of 1776); Fort Norfolk (1794); the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Memorial, where the general is buried; and many old homes. Norfolk is home to Old Dominion Univ., Norfolk State Univ., Virginia Wesleyan College, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. A national maritime center is there, and the city hosts an international arts festival. Bridge-tunnels link Norfolk with the Delmarva Peninsula and with Hampton, Va.

A rallying point for Tory forces at the start of the American Revolution, Norfolk was attacked (1776) by Americans and in the ensuing battle caught fire and was nearly destroyed. In the Civil War it was first a Confederate naval base; the battle between the Monitor and Merrimack was fought in Hampton Roads. Norfolk fell to Union forces in May, 1862.

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Norfolk: Health Care

Norfolk: Health Care

Norfolk is the site of Virginia's only free-standing, full-service pediatric hospital, Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. The 186-bed facility serves more than 5,900 children as inpatients each year, with nearly 99,000 children receiving outpatient services. Staffed with educators, therapists and social workers in addition to pediatric medical specialists, the hospital specializes in the treatment of cancer, neonatal medicine, infectious diseases, orthopedics, and craniofacial and urological reconstructive surgery. The Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is a 664-bed tertiary care facility located on a large medical campus and serving the area with Level I Trauma services. It has gained recognition for its highly specialized care and facilities, which include cardiac services, a cancer institute, high-risk pregnancy center, in-vitro fertilization, a transplant program, microsurgery, and reconstructive surgery. The Sentara Leigh Hospital is a 250-bed hospital featuring private rooms and specializing in orthopedic, gynecological, general, and uro-logical services. The hospital was honored in both 2001 and 2002 as one of the nation's top-performing hospitals, as reported by 100 Top Hospitals National Benchmarks for Success ; the hospital also has a Family Maternity Suite and a Breast Cancer Center with an all-female staff. Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center is a 366-bed acute care facility that includes a birthing center, diabetes center, cancer center, gerontology center and institute and additional programs for hearing/balance, sleep disorders, cardiac care, and joint/spine injuries. Lake Taylor Hospital is a 332-bed transitional care and chronic disease facility. Inpatient behavioral health and substance abuse services for adolescents are available through the Norfolk Psychiatric Center on Kempsville Road.

The Norfolk area and its major medical facilities are supported by dozens of specialized clinics, hundreds of private medical practitioners and a number of alternative treatment providers. The Naval Medical Center Portsmouth serves all branches of the U.S. military and their families.

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Norfolk: Population Profile

Norfolk: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 1,200,998

1990: 1,430,974

2000: 1,551,351

2003 estimate: 1,630,242

Percent change, 19902000: 8.4%

U.S. rank in 1990: 27th

U.S. rank in 2000: 33rd

City Residents

1980: 266,979

1990: 261,250

2000: 234,403

2003 estimate: 241,727

Percent change, 19902000: -10.2 %

U.S. rank in 1990: 75th (State rank: 2nd)

U.S. rank in 2000: 72nd (State rank: 2nd)

Density: 4,362.8 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 113,358

Black or African American: 103,387

American Indian and Alaska Native: 1,071

Asian: 6,593

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 251

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 8,915

Other: 3,923

Percent of residents born in state: 48.9% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Poplation under 5 years old: 16,546

Poplation 5 to 9 years old: 16,508

Poplation 10 to 14 years old: 15,072

Population 15 to 19 years old: 18,926

Poplation 20 to 24 years old: 31,983

Poplation 25 to 34 years old: 36,620

Poplation 35 to 44 years old: 33,569

Poplation 45 to 54 years old: 25,010

Poplation 55 to 59 years old: 8,143

Poplation 60 to 64 years old: 6,494

Poplation 65 to 74 years old: 12,979

Poplation 75 to 84 years old: 9,693

Population 85 years and over: 2,860

Median age: 29.6 years (2000)

Births (2003)

Total number: 3,942

Deaths (2003)

Total number: 2,729 (of which, 53 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $17,372 Median household income: $31,815 Total households: 86,178

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 12,024

$10,000 to $14,999: 6,883

$15,000 to $24,999: 14,465

$25,000 to $34,999: 13,470

$35,000 to $49,999: 15,232

$50,000 to $74,999: 13,402

$75,000 to $99,999: 5,264

$100,000 to $149,999: 3,318

$150,000 to $199,999: 915

$200,000 or more: 1,205

Percent of families below poverty level: 15.5% (30.5% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 15,476

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Norfolk: Communications

Norfolk: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The Virginian-Pilot is Norfolk's daily newspaper. The city is also home to military newspapers Flagship and Soundings. The Mace and Crown is the newspaper of Old Dominion University.

Television and Radio

Norfolk is served by 3 network affiliates and a network station from nearby Portsmouth. Norfolk is home to 11 FM radio stations (4 classical, plus public, talk, and music format stations) and 4 AM stations with public, religious, and music formats.

Media Information: Virginian-Pilot, 150 W. Brambleton Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23510; telephone (757)446-2000

Norfolk Online

City of Norfolk. Available www.norfolk.gov

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. Available www.hamptonroadschamber.com

Naval Station Norfolk. Available www.navstanorva.navy.mil

Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www.norfolkcvb.com/home

Norfolk Public Library system. Available www2.npl.lib.va.us

Norfolk Public Schools. Available www.nps.k12.va.us/index.htm

Virginian-Pilot newspaper. Available www.hamptonroads.com/pilotonline

Selected Bibliography

Flanders, Alan B., Bluejackets on the Elizabeth: A Maritime History of Portsmouth & Norfolk, Virginia from the Colonial Period to the Present (Portsmouth, VA: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, 1998)

Lewis, Earl, In Their Own Interests: Race, Class & Power in Twentieth-Century Norfolk, Virginia (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993)

Parramore, Thomas C., Peter C. Stewart (Contributor), and Tommy L. Bogger (Contributor), Norfolk: The First Four Centuries (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1994)

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Norfolk: Transportation

Norfolk: Transportation

Approaching the City

The city has easy access to Interstates 64 and 264. Greyhound provides bus service to the city and train travel is offered by Amtrak. The 17-mile-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel links the Norfolk region to the Delmarva Peninsula, and the Paddlewheel Ferry (a natural gas-powered pedestrian ferry) provides service between Norfolk's Waterside and Portsmouth. Pleasure craft can travel on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk all the way down to Miami, Florida, on a protected inland channel.

Norfolk International Airport, located eight miles northeast of the city's downtown area, is served by eight commercial airlines, including American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, TWA, United, and USAir. The airport handles more than 3 million passengers annually on more than 200 flights daily.

Traveling in the City

Interstates 64/564 run north and south through the city, and Interstate 264 runs east and west. State Highway 460, known locally as St. Paul's Boulevard, runs north and south through the downtown, while State Highway 58, known as Brambleton Avenue, runs east and west. Other main downtown streets running north-south are Boush Street, Church Street, and Tidewater Avenue. Waterside Drive and Water St. run east and west along the riverfront. Hampton Roads Transit provides public transportation regionally, connecting Norfolk with Virginia Beach, Newport News, Suffolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake. HRT also operates the Norfolk Electric Transit service (NET), which offers free service around the downtown area.

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Norfolk

Norfolk

Norfolk: Introduction
Norfolk: Geography and Climate
Norfolk: History
Norfolk: Population Profile
Norfolk: Municipal Government
Norfolk: Economy
Norfolk: Education and Research
Norfolk: Health Care
Norfolk: Recreation
Norfolk: Convention Facilities
Norfolk: Transportation
Norfolk: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1682 (incorporated 1705)

Head Official: Mayor Paul D. Fraim (I) (since 1994)

City Population

1980: 266,979

1990: 261,250

2000: 234,403

2003 estimate: 241,727

Percent change, 19902000: -10.2%

U.S. rank in 1990: 75th (State rank: 2nd)

U.S. rank in 2000: 72nd (State rank: 2nd)

Metropolitan Area Population (MSA)

1980: 1,200,998

1990: 1,430,974

2000: 1,551,351

Percent change, 19902000: 8.4%

U.S. rank in 1990: 27th

U.S. rank in 2000: 33rd

Area: 53.73 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 13 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 59.57° F;

Average Annual Precipitation: 43.89 inches total; 7.5 inches of snowfall

Major Economic Sectors: Services, trade, government

Unemployment rate: 4.0% (December 2004)

Per Capita Income: $17,372 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 15,476

Major Colleges and Universities: Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, Virginia Wesleyan College, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Troy State University, Tidewater Community College

Daily Newspaper: The Virginian-Pilot

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Norfolk: Geography and Climate

Norfolk: Geography and Climate

Norfolk, nearly surrounded by the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, is located near the southern border of Virginia, 18 miles west of the Atlantic Ocean and about 200 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. Immediately north is Chesapeake Bay and west is Hampton Roads, the natural channel through which the waters of the James River and its tributaries flow into the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Norfolk is situated at the mouth of the James, Elizabeth, and Nansemond rivers. Within the city the land is low and level.

Norfolk is fortunate in that it is south of the average path of storms originating in the higher latitudes. It is also north of the usual tracks of hurricanes and other tropical storms. The city usually has mild winters and sunny, warm autumns and springs. The long hot summers are often interrupted by cool periods as a result of the northeasterly winds off the Atlantic Ocean. Waves of extreme cold are rare, and often winters have no measurable snow. All in all, the National Weather Service has ranked Norfolk's climate as "one of the most desirable in the nation."

Area: 53.73 square miles of land; 42.58 square miles of water; 96.30 square miles total area (2000)

Elevation: 13 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 40° F; July, 79° F; annual average, 59.57° F;

Average Annual Precipitation: 43.89 inches total; 7.5 inches of snowfall

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Norfolk: Convention Facilities

Norfolk: Convention Facilities

Just blocks from Norfolk's waterfront is the SCOPE Cultural and Convention Center, which features the dome-shaped SCOPE Arena, Chrysler Hall, and a self-contained parking facility. SCOPE offers 85,000 square feet of contiguous meeting space, accommodates up to 11,300 delegates for a convention, and handles banquets for up to 3,650 people. It also features six meeting rooms with capacities from 10 to 400 people, and a 150-seat restaurant. The Waterside Convention Connection is a joint project of the Waterside Convention Center, the Waterside Festival Marketplace and the Sheraton, Marriott, and Radisson hotels. These combined entities offer 121,000 square feet of function space, 55 meeting rooms, 1,000 first-class rooms for lodging and a large exhibit hall that can accommodate up to 2,400 guests for a reception, 2,000 people in a theater setup, and 1,400 for a banquet. Local theater buildings, attractions and dining establishments can also be reserved for meetings and conventions, creating a unique experience with a definite Norfolk flavor.

Convention Information: Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau, 232 E. Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510; telephone (757)664-6620; toll-free (800)368-3097

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Norfolk: Municipal Government

Norfolk: Municipal Government

Norfolk operates under a council-city manager form of government. It has seven city commissioners, one of whom is elected mayor by the council members. Council members serve for four years and the mayor's term is two years. The council appoints a city manager who oversees daily city business matters.

Head Official: Mayor Paul D. Fraim (I) (since 1994; current term expires 2006)

Total Number of City Employees: Approximately 6,000 (2005)

City Information: Mayor's Office, City of Norfolk, 810 Union St., Norfolk, VA 23510; telephone (757)664-4000

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Norfolk: Introduction

Norfolk: Introduction

Norfolk, Virginia, one of the world's largest and busiest port cities, is the financial and legal center of southeastern Virginia. Water is central to the past, present and future of Norfolk, where the infamous Merrimac sea vessel was converted to the ironclad Virginia and where the National Maritime Center today recognizes the waterlogged character of this culturally and historically rich community.

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Norfolk

Norfolk City-port on Elizabeth River, se Virginia, USA. Founded in 1682, with Newport News and Portsmouth it forms the port of Hampton Roads. It is the largest US naval complex. Exports: coal, grain, tobacco. Industries: ship-building, motor vehicles, chemicals. Pop. (2000) 234,403.

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Norfolk

Norfolk •elegiac • Newark • Lubbock •Caradoc, haddock, paddock, shaddock •Marduk • piddock • Norfolk • Suffolk •charlock •hillock, pillock •lilac •ballock, pollack, pollock, rowlock •bullock • hammock •hummock, slummock, stomach •bannock, Zanuck •Kilmarnock • Greenock • monarch •eunuch •arrack, barrack, Baruch, carrack •cassock, hassock •tussock • Taoiseach • mattock •buttock, futtock •havoc • bulwark • wazzock • Isaac

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