Within the traditional boundaries of what we call Downtown, there are actually several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own character and attributes. And, because Downtown is so compact, you can easily walk from one to another.
Freemason Historic District
Located on the Elizabeth River just to the west of the Central Business District is the city's oldest standing neighborhood. Recently named a Top 10 Great Neighborhood, its cobblestone streets and mature trees are the backdrop for the city's only neighborhood that presents a visible chronology of three centuries of architectural styles. Converted turn-of-the century warehouses boast trendy loft-style housing while mansion-like homes built by some of the city's earliest residents are just footsteps away from waterfront contemporary, state-of-the art condominiums and apartments. The Freemason Historic District is more than a neighborhood, it's an attitude. Visit the Historic District's civic league, Freemason Street Area Association, for more information.
The Granby District
Downtown's traditional "shopping street" has become home to many residents. Almost all of the early 20th century buildings that line Granby Street from the waterfront to the Opera House are now home to young professionals or empty nesters. The conversion of upper floors to trendy residential lofts make the Granby District one of the most unique neighborhoods in the entire region. With civic leadership provided by the Downtown Norfolk Civic League, the Granby Street District continues to be one of Downtown's most sought after neighborhoods.
St. Paul's Neighborhood
Downtown's newest neighborhood has emerged just to the east of the Central Business District. New lofts and condominiums and a converted office building, now a residential tower, share alley space with the region's five-star shopping experience, MacArthur Center. Nothing could be more convenient. St. Paul's Rotunda building offers residents outstanding and unique views.
Just to the north of Downtown is another eclectic neighborhood. Historic homes share fences with beautiful homes built within the last decade. Known as a favorite destination for the "creative class," Ghent is also home to unique shops, bistros and entertainment venues. For more information on Historic Ghent, visit Destination Ghent.