Architectural Review

Not Enough Power? How about people's choices in cars, too?

The Architectural Review Board has been doing a great job protecting the architectural and historical integrity of the Historic District, keeping all of us from making wrong choices about things like inappropriate replacement windows — oh, and garage doors and exterior lighting and mailboxes and lawn ornaments (don't even go there) and shrubery and trees, etc. But what about cars? Isn't the ubiquitous automobile an important contributor to the neighborhood look? Shouldn't the Board also be able to pass judgement on the motor vehicles parked in front of our houses? You know what they say, "The car that makes the house" — actually, it might have been Edsel Ford who first said that.

Architectural Review Board Ordinance

Remember the good ol' days when the cars went with the historic houses? — like this house built in 1901. Imagine:

500 mowbray arch, norfolk virginia

Do those sleeker, cleaner lines and that discordant color really work?

500 mowbray arch, norfolk virginia

Some things are seen better side by side (and not just the cars):

Notice that third-floor window?


Other Curious Features

for a house belonging to a City official

charged with judging other people's houses

For years the Queen of Architectural Purity reigned over the Norfolk Design Review Committee, the forebear of the Architectural Review Board. But look at how she kept up her own house.

Missing slate roof shingles:


Cracked brickwork:


Hole in the wall big enough to be a raccoon door:


Rotted screens:

ghent neighborhood league, ghent, norfolk, virginia

Peeling paint:

ghent neighborhood league, ghent, norfolk, virginia

More peeling paint:


Rotted landscaping timbers:


Wrong house number displayed (a violation of the City Code):

Norfolk City Council,





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