The City of Portsmouth
On the National Register of Historic Places, Portsmouth is charmed by its restored homes and buildings originating in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Founded as a town in 1752 and incorporated as a city in 1858, Portsmouth has celebrated 250 years as a major commercial and military seaport. Major employers include the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth Regional Naval Medical Center, the U.S. Coast Guard's Atlantic Area Command and the Fifth Coast Guard District. Portsmouth is an independent city governed by a seven member city council that includes a mayor. Portsmouth has had a council-manager form of government since 1916. The city has almost 80 miles of shoreline where uses include military bases, commercial ports, industrial activities, downtown waterfront, stately waterfront homes, city parks, and even the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve. In recent years, Portsmouth has had a surge of new development, including a new waterfront hotel and conference center, a performing arts center with a 6,500 seat amphitheater, new shopping at Victory Crossing, a new 100-acre corporate office center, newly renovated golf courses, and is designated as a Federal Empowerment Zone. Portsmouth also offers a rich diversity of historic districts featuring homes, businesses, museums, galleries, historic sites and theaters. Portsmouth is home to one of the oldest working harbors in the county and remains the "City of Choice" for the 21st Century as a place for people to live, work, play and visit.The Elizabeth River Ferry, a charming paddle-wheel vessel with two decks, is a fast commuting alternative. It only takes five minutes to cross and runs continuously throughout the day and evening. Avoid possible tunnel traffic by taking a straight shot to Norfolk or Portsmouth across the Elizabeth River. Olde Towne and Park View together account for the largest historical portion of Portsmouth. Both areas host a number of bed and breakfasts, including the Bianca Boat & Breakfast, antique shops, and the Commodore Theatre. Portsmouth is also growing. The Myrtles at Olde Towne commenced construction in 2004. The Myrtles at Olde Towne is a 246 unit luxury apartment home community. This community is at the front door of the Naval Medical Center in the Park View district. The City of Portsmouth truly is full of history and beautiful architecture and all with a home town feel.