Berkley, Virginia

Coordinates: 36°50′05″N 76°16′55″W / 36.83472°N 76.28194°W / 36.83472; -76.28194
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Berkley North Historic District
Berkley, Virginia is located in Virginia
Berkley, Virginia
Berkley, Virginia is located in the United States
Berkley, Virginia
LocationRoughly bounded by Bellamy Ave., Pescara Creek, Berkley Ave., and I-464, Norfolk, Virginia
Coordinates36°50′05″N 76°16′55″W / 36.83472°N 76.28194°W / 36.83472; -76.28194
Area86 acres (35 ha)
Built1890 (1890)
ArchitectVolk, L.B.; et al.
Architectural styleMid 19th Century Revival, Late Victorian, et al.
NRHP reference No.00001440[1]
VLR No.122-0824
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 22, 2000
Designated VLRDecember 1, 1999[2]

Berkley was an incorporated town in Norfolk County, Virginia. Chartered by an Act of Assembly in 1890, the Town of Berkley was located directly across the Eastern Branch Elizabeth River from the City of Norfolk in the South Hampton Roads area.


In the 18th century, Berkley developed port facilities and a shipyard on the Elizabeth River across from Norfolk. In the 19th century, it was the rail terminus of the original Norfolk Southern Railway, a regional railroad extending 600 miles to Charlotte, North Carolina (and a predecessor of the modern Norfolk Southern rail system headquartered in Norfolk).

Both the Town of Berkley and Norfolk County are extinct as jurisdictions. Fearing annexation ambitions by its larger neighbor, the City of Norfolk, in the late 19th century, the town leaders petitioned the Virginia General Assembly to become an independent city (which would have created immunity from annexation), but the effort failed. On January 1, 1906, the Town of Berkley was annexed by the City of Norfolk, and is now considered a neighborhood of that city.[3] (Remaining portions of Norfolk County were consolidated with the City of South Norfolk in 1963 to form the City of Chesapeake).

On 13 April 1922, the "negro belt" of the city suffered a large fire that destroyed two hundred homes. Press reports said that the fire began in a lumber mill and spread rapidly.[4]

In the 21st century, the Berkley Bridge on I-264 links Berkley with the downtown area of Norfolk. It is one of a few drawbridges on the Interstate Highway System. Berkley also is the site of the juncture of the Downtown Tunnel (across the river to Portsmouth) and Interstate 464 (leading to Chesapeake).

Berkley North Historic District[edit]

The Berkley North Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.[1] It encompasses 255 contributing buildings in one of southeast Virginia's oldest and most diverse communities, now part of the City of Norfolk. It includes a variety of early-20th century commercial and residential architecture, some of it designed by the area's most important firms. Notable buildings include the Lycurgus Berkley House (c. 1873), Norfleet House (1900), St. James Episcopal Church and adjacent chapel, Antioch Baptist church, Berkley Avenue Baptist Church (1885-1888), Merchants' and Planters' Bank, Seaboard Bank Building (1921), former Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Mary Hardy MacArthur Memorial.[5]

People from Berkley[edit]

former Memorial Methodist Church designed 1899-1900, now Antioch Baptist Church on Berkley Avenue and Dinwiddie St.
Location of old metropolitan funeral home built in 1888.


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  3. ^ Harper, Raymond L. (2008). A History of Chesapeake, Virginia, p. 77. The History Press.
  4. ^ "One Hundred Houses Burned Near Norfolk". Nevada State Journal. April 13, 1922. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Robert Wojtowicz and Kimble A. David (September 1999). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Berkley North Historic District" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. and Accompanying photo and Accompanying map Archived 2013-11-11 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Darling, Kathryn (May 29, 1997). "MINNIE GREGG MADREY - 1912-2001 MOURNERS HAIL NORFOLK MODEL CITIZEN". The Virginian-Pilot. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  7. ^ Kristin Davis (December 1, 2008). "Chesapeake pastor answers his calling, day or night". The Virginian Pilot. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  8. ^ Leonard E. Colvin (May 23, 2013). "Rev. Jake Manley: 'He Will Be Missed'". New Journal and Guide. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to Berkley, Virginia at Wikimedia Commons