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Mace & Crown | March 25, 2017

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Mapping Lambert’s Point Project Unveiled

Mapping Lambert’s Point Project Unveiled
Alex Scruggs
Contributing Writer

The areas surrounding ODU have been housing both residents and their stories for over a century. “I didn’t swim so I didn’t try to swim but if you could swim we used to go to what you’d call the white pipe,” a contributor to mappinglambertspoint.org wrote.

Established more than 100 years ago, the Lambert’s Point neighborhood in Norfolk is home to over 3000 residents. It lies within the boundaries of the 21st street railroad tracks to the south, the Elizabeth River to the west, Hampton Boulevard to the east and ODU to the north.

Dedicated to telling the stories of Lambert’s Point, Mapping Lambert’s Point made its online debut Sept 20. On the website, you’ll find a map of the area with interactive points of interest detailing the stories and former business that have kept Lambert’s Point vibrant over the years.

Both the city of Norfolk, and the state of Virginia seem to have a vested interest in Mapping Lambert’s Point. “The initial phase of the project was partially funded by a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and a gift from the Norfolk Southern Foundation as well as supported by the City of Norfolk and Old Dominion University,” according to the website.

Mapping Lambert’s Point offers a look-in to what the area was like before ODU took up such a significant amount of space. “The white pipe,” used to be a popular swimming and fishing spot for local residents from the ’50s to the ’70s. Similarly extinct, Mrs. George Cason’s Ice Cream Parlor & Summer Garden, formerly located on 42nd Street and Parker Avenue, “promised music and ‘innocent amusements’ with special attention given to ladies and children” in the early 1900s.

The website is split up into four sections, including the main map, a description of the Mapping Lamberts Point project, a history of Lambert’s Point and a page for submitting your own stories.

Mapping Lambert’s Point thrives on the submission of stories from current and former residents, and according to the website “no story is too small.” When posting stories, the website asks contributors to consider ideas such as their fondest or least fond memory of the area, how has the area influenced their life, and how the area served the community’s needs or changed its identity.

Those with stories can share them online to help the Map Lambert’s Point project and “illuminate the meaningful encounters and lived experiences that have helped form a sense of place for folks who have grown up there, once called the neighborhood home, or continue to live there.”