• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Williamsburg ,Newport News and VA Beach Virginia named Great Places and Streets

Duke of Gloucester Street, Hilton Village in Newport News and The Boardwalk in Virginia Beach have each been named Great Streets, Great Neighborhoods and Great Public Places of America by The American Planning Association

Each was one of only 10 selected in 2009

The American Planning Association (APA) has announced that Duke of Gloucester Street has been designated one of 10 Great Streets for 2009 by APA’s Great Places in America program.   There will be a ceremony to mark the achievement Saturday, October 31 at 9am on Duke of Gloucester Street.
APA singled out Duke of Gloucester Street for its unique ability to evoke the past at the same time it maintains a lively mix of modern-day uses. Early visionaries, with the financial backing of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., transformed Duke of Gloucester from a vehicle-dominated U.S. Highway to a pedestrian street that recreates the Williamsburg of 200 years ago. While it is a living history museum, Duke of Gloucester is also a vibrant community street for residents and the College of William and Mary. 

"We’re very excited to single out Duke of Gloucester as one of this year’s Great Streets," said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer, FAICP. "While many people think of Duke of Gloucester as just part of a historic district, it actually serves present-day needs with Merchants Square. There aren’t very many streets in America like this, and we commend city leaders and citizens for their thoughtful and grand vision to revert this once-U.S. highway into a living museum," he added.
Located at the center of Williamsburg, founded in 1699, Duke of Gloucester Street is home to restored and reconstructed houses, shops, religious and governmental buildings erected in their original locations during the 18th century, as well as the modern day shopping district known as Merchants Square. Flanked by the reconstructed Capitol Building to the east and the College of William and Mary’s historic campus to the west, the street has been visited by historical figures both early and late including former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.
Working with historic preservation advocate the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, Rockefeller began acquiring privately owned properties along the street in 1926. The purchases, along with the support and backing of the town, eventually led to reconstruction of more than 80 buildings along the mile-long street based upon archaeological investigations and historic records.
In addition to Rockefeller’s major investment, Duke of Gloucester Street has been shaped by six comprehensive plans and related measures dating to 1953. Outcomes of these plans included closing the street to motor vehicle traffic beginning in 1969 and requiring review of new buildings and building alterations by the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals and Architectural Review Board. Other steps involved locating parking on the interior blocks of Merchants Square so cars would not detract from the colonial views and atmosphere recreated along the street.

Hilton Village in Newport News was the first of some 100 federally financed housing projects during World War I.  Historic Hilton Village today remains much as it did when it was first planned and built in 1918-19. On the east bank of the James River about three miles north of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., the village is patterned after principles and designs of the late-19th century Garden City movement begun in the United Kingdom by Sir Ebenezer Howard. The city established a historic overlay district for the village in 1969, the same year the neighborhood was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The village is compact with amenities and commercial areas within easy walking or bicycling distance of the homes, which are mostly in the Jacobethan, Dutch Colonial, and Georgian Colonial architectural styles. A streetcar originally transported workers between the neighborhood and the shipyards.  

VA Beach Boardwalk was originally from wooden planks during the nation’s Gilded Age, the five-block promenade attracted thousands of Victorian vacationers. Today, more than 2.2 million people visit the three-mile-long concrete boardwalk each year and it is an integral part of the City of Virginia Beach’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism. As such, the boardwalk has been the focus of numerous improvement and planning efforts, the most recent of which explores extending a light rail line from Norfolk to the boardwalk.

The boardwalk extends 40 city blocks between Rudee Inlet to the south and 40th Street to the north.

Popular among residents and tourists alike, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk offers an abundance of cultural, recreational and historical events and activities. From its de rigueur amusement park and fishing pier to the Naval Aviation Monument, the boardwalk presents an unparalleled range of sights, sounds and diversions.

Since its construction in 1888, the boardwalk has been a community treasure. Reminders of the boardwalk’s historic past are the 1895 deWitt Cottage — the oldest beach house along the city’s oceanfront — and the 1903 Coast Guard Station, which stands on site of the waterfront’s original 1870s Seatack Life Saving Station.

APA Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live. They are enjoyable, safe, and desirable. They are places where people want to be — not only to visit, but to live and work every day. America’s truly great streets, neighborhoods and public spaces are defined by many criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement

For more information about these areas and , as well as lists of the 2009 APA 10 Great Neighborhoods, Streets and 10 Great Public Spaces, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces.

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