Sneha Girap

Newport News, Virginia

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Country  United States of America
Population  182,020 (2013)
Area  300 km2
State  Virginia
Mayor  McKinley L. Price (I)
Points of interest  Mariners Museum, Virginia Living Museum, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Lee Hall, US Army Transportation Museum
Colleges and Universities  Christopher Newport University, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Centura College, Riverside School of Health Careers, Everest College-Newport News

Newport News is an independent city located in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 180,719. in 2013, the population was estimated to be 183,412, making it the fifth-most populous city in Virginia.

Contents

Map of Newport News, Virginia

Newport News is included in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the northern shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffes Creek along many miles of waterfront to the rivers mouth at Newport News Point on the harbor of Hampton Roads.

Newport news virginia my town


The area now known as Newport News was once a part of Warwick County. Warwick County was one of the eight original shires of Virginia, formed by the House of Burgesses in the British Colony of Virginia by order of King Charles I, in 1634. The county was largely composed of farms and undeveloped land until almost 250 years later. In 1881, 15 years of explosive development began under the leadership of Collis P. Huntington, whose new Peninsula Extension of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway from Richmond opened up transportation along the Peninsula and provided a new pathway for the railroad to bring West Virginia bituminous coal to port for coastal shipping and worldwide export. With the new railroad came a terminal and coal piers where the colliers were loaded. Within a few years, Huntington and his associates also built a large shipyard. In 1896, the new incorporated town of Newport News, which had briefly replaced Denbigh as the county seat of Warwick County, had a population of 9,000. In 1958, by mutual consent by referendum, Newport News was consolidated with the former Warwick County (itself a separate city from 1952 to 1958), rejoining the two localities to approximately their pre-1896 geographic size. The more widely known name of Newport News was selected as they formed what was then Virginias third largest independent city in population.

Magnuson hotel and convention center at oyster point newport news va


With many residents employed at the expansive Newport News Shipbuilding, the joint U.S. Air Force-U.S. Army installation at Joint Base Langley–Eustis, and other military bases and suppliers, the citys economy is very connected to the military. The location on the harbor and along the James River facilitates a large boating industry which can take advantage of its many miles of waterfront. Newport News also serves as a junction between the rails and the sea with the Newport News Marine Terminals located at the East End of the city. Served by major east-west Interstate Highway 64, it is linked to others of the cities of Hampton Roads by the circumferential Hampton Roads Beltway, which crosses the harbor on two bridge-tunnels. Part of the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is in the city limits.

History

Newport News, Virginia in the past, History of Newport News, Virginia

During the 17th century, shortly after founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, English settlers explored and began settling the areas adjacent to Hampton Roads. In 1610, Sir Thomas Gates "took possession" of a nearby Native American village, which became known as Kecoughtan. At that time, settlers began clearing land along the James River (the navigable part of which was called Hampton Roads) for plantations, including the present area of Newport News.

Newport News, Virginia in the past, History of Newport News, Virginia

In 1619, the area of Newport News was included in one of four huge corporations of the Virginia Company of London. It became known as Elizabeth Cittie, and extended west all the way to Skiffes Creek (currently the border between Newport News and James City County. Elizabeth Cittie also included all of present-day South Hampton Roads.

By 1634, the English colony of Virginia consisted of a total population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants. It was divided into eight shires of Virginia, which were renamed as counties shortly thereafter. The area of Newport News became part of Warwick River Shire, which became Warwick County in 1637. By 1810, the county seat was at Denbigh. For a short time in the mid-19th century, the county seat was moved to Newport News.

Newport News was a rural area of plantations and a small fishing village until after the American Civil War. Construction of the railroad and establishment of the great shipyard brought thousands of workers and associated development. It was one of only a few cities in Virginia to be newly established without earlier incorporation as a town. (Virginia has had an independent city political subdivision since 1871). Walter A. Post served as the citys first mayor.

The area which formed the present-day southern end of Newport News had long been established as an unincorporated town. During Reconstruction, the period after the American Civil War, the new City of Newport News was essentially founded by California merchant Collis P. Huntington. Huntington, one of the Big Four associated with the Central Pacific Railroad, in California, formed the western part of the countrys First Transcontinental Railroad. He was recruited by former Confederate General Williams Carter Wickham to become a major investor and guiding light for a southern railroad. He helped complete the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway to the Ohio River in 1873.

Huntington knew the railroad could transport coal eastbound from West Virginias untapped natural resources. His agents began acquiring land in Warwick County in 1865. In the 1880s, he oversaw extension of the C&Os new Peninsula Subdivision, which extended from the Church Hill Tunnel in Richmond southeast down the peninsula through Williamsburg to Newport News, where the company developed coal piers on the harbor of Hampton Roads.

His next project was to develop Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, which became the worlds largest shipyard. Opened as Chesapeake Dry Dock & Construction Company, the shipbuilding was intended to build boats to transition goods from the rails to the seas. With president Theodore Roosevelts declaration to create a Great White Fleet, the company entered the warship business by building seven of the first sixteen warships. Today, the shipyard holds a dominant position in the American warship construction business.

In addition to Collis, other members of the Huntington family also played major roles in Newport News. From 1912 to 1914, his nephew, Henry E. Huntington, assumed leadership of the shipyard. Huntington Park, developed after World War I near the northern terminus of the James River Bridge, is named for him.

Collis Huntingtons son, Archer Milton Huntington and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, developed the Mariners Museum beginning in 1932. They created a natural park and the communitys Lake Maury in the process. A major feature of Newport News, the Mariners Museum has grown to become one of the largest and finest maritime museums in the world.

In 1958, the citizenry of the cities of Warwick and Newport News voted by referendum to consolidate the two cities, choosing to assume the better-known name of Newport News. The merger created the third largest city by population in Virginia, with a 65 square miles (168 km2) area. The boundaries of the City of Newport News today are essentially the boundaries of the original Warwick River Shire and the traditional one of Warwick County, with the exception of minor border adjustments with neighbors.

The citys original downtown area, located on the James River waterfront, changed rapidly from a farm trading town to a new city in the last quarter of the 19th century. Development of the railroad terminal, with its coal piers, and other harbor-related facilities, and the shipyard, all brought new jobs and workers to the area. Although fashionable housing and businesses developed in downtown, the increase in industry and the development of new suburbs both pushed and pulled retail and residential development to the west and north after World War II. Such suburban development was aided by national subsidization of highway construction and was part of a national trend to newer housing.

Despite city efforts at large-scale revitalization, by the beginning of the 21st century the downtown area consisted largely of the coal export facilities, the shipyard, and municipal offices. It is bordered by some harbor-related smaller businesses and lower income housing.

Newport News grew in population from the 1960s through the 1990s. The city began to explore New Urbanism as a way to develop areas midtown. City Center at Oyster Point was developed out of a small portion of the Oyster Point Business Park. It opened in phases from 2003 through 2005. The city invested $82 million of public funding in the project. Closely following Oyster Point, Port Warwick opened as an urban residential community in the new midtown business district. Fifteen hundred people now reside in the Port Warwick area. It includes a 3-acre (1.2 ha) city square where festivals and events take place.

In July 1989 the United States Navy commissioned the third naval vessel named after the City with the entry of the Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine USS NEWPORT NEWS (SSN-750), built at Newport News Shipbuilding, into active service. The ship was initially commanded by CDR. Mark B. Keef and the City orchestrated a public celebration of the event, which was attended by Vice President of the United States Dan Quayle. In conjunction with this milestone occasion, a song was written by a City native and formally adopted by Newport News City Council in July 1989. The lyrics appear with permission from the Author:(1st verse): Harbor of a thousand ships/Forger of a nations fleet/Gateway to the New World/Where ocean and river meet/(chorus):Strength wrought from steel/And a peoples fortitude/Such is the timeless legacy/Of a place called Newport News/(2nd verse):Nestled in a blessed land/Gifted with a special view/Forever home for evry man/With a spirit proud and true/(repeat chorus to fade)

Geography

Newport News is located at 37°4?15?N 76°29?4?W (37.071046, ?76.484557).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 120 square miles (310 km2), of which 69 square miles (180 km2) is land and 51 square miles (130 km2) (42.4%) is water.

The city is located at the Peninsula side of Hampton Roads in the Tidewater region of Virginia, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The Hampton Roads Metropolitan Statistical Area (officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA) is the 35th largest in the United States, with a total population of 1,576,370. The area includes the Virginia cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Williamsburg, and the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Surry, and York, as well as the North Carolina county of Currituck. Newport News serves as one of the business centers on the Peninsula. The city of Norfolk is recognized as the central business district, while the Virginia Beach oceanside resort district and Williamsburg are primarily centers of tourism.

Newport News shares land borders with James City County on the northwest, York County on the north and northeast, and Hampton on the east. Newport News shares water borders with Portsmouth on the southeast and Suffolk on the south across Hampton Roads, and Isle of Wight County on the southwest and west and Surry County on the northwest across the James River.

Economy

Among the citys major industries are shipbuilding, military, and aerospace. Newport News Shipbuilding, owned by Huntington Ingalls Industries, and the large coal piers supplied by railroad giant CSX Transportation, the modern Fortune 500 successor to the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O). Miles of the waterfront can be seen by automobiles crossing the James River Bridge and Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, which is a portion of the circumferential Hampton Roads Beltway, linking the city with each of the other major cities of Hampton Roads via Interstate 664 and Interstate 64. Many U.S. defensive industry suppliers are based in Newport News, and these and nearby military bases employ many residents, in addition to those working at the shipyard and in other harbor-related vocations.

Culture

As with most of Virginia, Newport News is most often associated with the larger American South. People who have grown up in the Hampton Roads area have a unique Tidewater accent which sounds different than a stereotypical Southern accent. Vowels have a longer pronunciation than in a typical southern accent.

Near the citys western end, a historic C&O railroad station, as well as American Civil War battle sites near historic Lee Hall along U.S. Route 60 and several 19th century plantations have all been protected. Many are located along the roads leading to Yorktown and Williamsburg, where many sites of the Historic Triangle are of both American Revolutionary War and Civil War significance. The first modern duel of ironclad warships, the Battle of Hampton Roads, took place not far off Newport News Point in 1862.

Recovered artifacts from USS Monitor are displayed at the Mariners Museum, one of the more notable museums of its type in the world. The Museum’s collection totals approximately 32,000 artifacts, international in scope, which include ship models, scrimshaw, maritime paintings, decorative arts, figureheads and engines. The museum also owns and maintains a 550-acre park on which is located the Noland Trail, and the 167-acre Lake Maury.

The Virginia War Museum covers American military history. The Museums collection includes, weapons, vehicles, artifacts, uniforms and posters from various periods of American history. Highlights of the Museums collection include a section of the Berlin Wall and the outer wall from Dachau Concentration Camp.

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center contains a rotating gallery of art exhibits. The Center also maintains a permanent "Hands on For Kids" gallery designed for children and families to interact in what the Center describes as "a fun, educational environment that encourages participation with art materials and concepts."

The U.S. Army Transportation Museum is a United States Army museum of vehicles and other U.S. Army transportation-related equipment and memorabilia. Located on the grounds of Fort Eustis, The museum reflects the history of the Army, especially of the United States Army Transportation Corps, and includes close to 100 military vehicles such as land vehicles, watercraft and rolling stock, including stock from the Fort Eustis Military Railroad. It is officially dedicated to General Frank S. Besson, Jr., who was the first four-star general to lead the transportation command, and extends over 6 acres (24,000 m2) of land, air and sea vehicles and indoor exhibits. The exhibits cover transportation and its role in US Army operations, including topic areas from the American Revolutionary War through operations in Afghanistan.

The Ferguson Center for the Arts is a theater and concert hall on the campus of Christopher Newport University. The complex fully opened in September 2005 and contains three distinct, separate concert halls: the Concert Hall, the Music and Theatre Hall, and the Studio Theatre.

The Port Warwick area hosts the annual Port Warwick Art and Sculpture Festival where art vendors gather in Styron Square to show and sell their art. Judges have the chance to name art work best of the Festival.

The Virginia Living Museum is an outdoor living museum combining aspects of a native wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve, and planetarium.

References

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