Downtown Norfolk Council


Norfolk, Virginia


14 city blocks

Completion Date

Phase I: April 2016
Phase II: Summer 2018


In 1909, Norfolk’s Granby Street earned the moniker “The Great White Way,” for its grand arches of light, causing The Virginian-Pilot to claim Norfolk “the most brilliantly lighted city in the United States.” Work Program Architects helped the Downtown Norfolk Council revive the tradition with updated technologies at much less cost. It is a small urban intervention with big impact. On April 1, 2016, former Mayor Paul Fraim threw the switch, illuminating 10 arches, 300 to 500 feet apart, each bearing 40 LED bulbs. The 42-foot cables supporting the lights are anchored by 24-foot poles. The arches light a four-block area, from City Hall to Brambleton Avenues. A second phase, completed in 2018,  extended additional arches of light from Brambleton Avenue to the new NEON Arts District to the north and along the pedestrian footpath to Waterside Drive to the south.