Mapping Lambert's Point

Alex Scruggs | Contributing Writer

The area surrounding Old Dominion University has been housing residents and stories for over a hundred years. “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 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 St. railroad tracks to the south, the Elizabeth River to the west, Hampton Blvd to the east, and ODU to the north.

Dedicated to telling the stories of Lambert’s Point, made its online debut Tuesday, 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. According to the website, “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.”

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 1950s to the 1970s, “down 49th St. all the way at the end, there was a big pipe painted white.” Similarly extinct, Mrs. George Cason’s Ice Cream Parlor & Summer Garden, formerly located on 42nd St. and Parker Ave, “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: the 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.

Maybe you have a story for the website? Share something interesting to help the Map Lambert’s Point project “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.”