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Portsmouth, VA Contractors

Portsmouth VA

Portsmouth VA is in the middle of the Hampton Roads metropolitan region. Also included in this area are Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and Williamsburg. With a population of about 100,000, Portsmouth is small enough to be friendly and large enough to be fun. If you like being near the water, Portsmouth offers miles of waterfront on the Elizabeth River. Even better, Virginia Beach, with long stretches of sandy beach, is just a few minutes away.

The city is home to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard where U.S. Navy vessels are repaired, remodeled and built. The City of Portsmouth is part of the Hampton Roads Harbor and is on the western side of the Elizabeth River across the water from Norfolk. A ferry travels back and forth between Olde Towne Portsmouth and Downtown Norfolk, or you can drive into Norfork via a tunnel.

History

Portsmouth was originally settled by shipbuilder John Wood. Soon after, the area became a plantation community. The city itself was founded in 1752 and named for Portsmouth, England. In 1855, a yellow fever epidemic claimed the lives of one in three residents.

This is one of the oldest communities in Hampton Roads. Recognized as both a port and a city, Portsmouth's downtown area underwent considerable redevelopment in the early 2000s. The downtown area is now called Olde Towne Business and Historical District.

Olde Towne

If you enjoy American history, Olde Towne has plenty to offer. This downtown neighborhood boasts one of the largest concentrations of historic homes and buildings in America within a square-mile walking distance. Here are a few Olde Towne attractions that are not to be missed.

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. This church is one of the oldest buildings in Portsmouth and was built by slaves and free men. It was originally a refuge for slaves making their way north to freedom.

Pass House. Before the Civil War, this historic Greek Revival structure was a private residence. Built in 1841, it was taken over in 1862 by the Federalists as a headquarters and security checkpoint. Anyone wishing to cross the Elizabeth River was required to obtain permission in the form of a written pass, which is how Pass House got its name.

Hill House. Built in 1825, Hill House is a fully-preserved English Basement Home that has received some renovation but largely retains its original structure and furnishings.

Path Of History. A self-guided walking tour of Olde Towne, the Path Of History is about one mile long and connects the Naval Medical Center with the Naval Shipyard, two of the oldest Navy installations in the U.S. Both Hill House and Pass House are on this walk along with 45 historic sites. At the south end, there's a shipyard park featuring brick walkways and naval artifacts. At the north end, there's another park surrounding the hospital with additional historic artifacts. Built in 1830, the military hospital remains in operation today.

Cedar Grove Cemetery. This burial ground was created in 1832 and is distinctive for its funerary art.

Children's Museum of Virginia. A kid-friendly, two-story haven, the Children's Museum encourages kids to explore and role-play. The museum features a child-sized town with hands-on amusements. Besides a pet area, trains and a real fire engine, kids can investigate the Planetarium and visit The Bubble Room, which is said to produce the world's biggest bubbles.

Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center. Built in 1846, this Greek-Revival structure houses two large galleries of art exhibits that change regularly. Events include lectures, book signings and poetry readings. A variety of artists-at-work provide public demonstrations, and there are free concerts every first Friday.

Demographics

Portsmouth has about 40,000 households. Ethnic composition is about 50 percent each African American and Caucasian. Median household income is about $40,000-$50,000 annually.

Climate

The city of Portsmouth enjoys a humid subtropical climate, although winter lows can drop into the 30s during December, January and February. Summers are hot with highs in the 90s. The mild winters and hot summers make ductless heat pumps Portsmouth's most popular residential heating and cooling system. Many area homes are not equipped with air ducts, so in Portsmouth, ductless air conditioning is an efficient way to keep utility bills low while staying comfortable during the long, hot summers. To learn more about an energy-efficient heat pump installation or how you can save money with a mini-split ductless air conditioner, locate a Mitsubishi Electric Contractor in your area using our Virginia AC Dealers website.