Located on the east side of the Lafayette River, south of Winona and north of downtown Norfolk, Lafayette Residence Park is, today, a large residential area that extends to Tidewater Drive on the east and is bounded on the southwest and north by the Lafayette River. The neighborhood is physically and visually bisected by the large and heavily travelled Lafayette Boulevard which generally runs north-south through the area; because of the visual barrier created by the boulevard, the chronological and physical development of the area, and the architectural integrity of the building fabric, only the cohesive community located northwest of this boulevard is being proposed for historic district status.
This section of the neighborhood is defined by its well-landscaped streets, and its gracious and solidly built, single- family dwellings. The streets are laid out in an irregular manner with one half-circle, Orleans Circle, forming the main and original core of the neighborhood. Orleans Circle is located on the outside edge around two, parallel roads separated by a wide, grassy median forming the interior of the half-circle. Off of this half-circle, and a later addition to this original plat, are a series of curvilinear and straight streets connecting and dead- ending in no apparent order. Narrow and unpaved alleys run parallel to Lafayette Boulevard and connect Versailles Avenue with Avenue de Grasse.
The neighborhood is oriented inward, with houses on the edges facing the public right-of-way and large yards at the rear taking advantage, when possible, of the view to the river. The architecture consists almost exclusively of substantial, middle-income detached houses with one church occupying the corner of Avenue de Luxembourg and Vendome Place.
The houses making up the neighborhood are substantial and well- built. Those on Orleans Circle are the grandest and occupy the largest lots, while the others are set closer together and have smaller yards. The houses on Orleans Circle present a variety of styles including transitional Queen Anne/Classical Revival style farmhouse-type houses and imposing Colonial Revival style houses having American-four-square-type massing. The houses on the other streets tend to be smaller bungalow-type dwellings.
Information & History are from the neighborhood histories page on Norfolk city’s website