Seatack Historic District Listed in National Register of Historic Places

The Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission is pleased to announce that the National Park Service has listed the Seatack Historic District in Virginia Beach in the National Register of Historic Places. This federal recognition became official on May 28. Previously, the Seatack community was recognized at the state level, when it was listed as a historic district in the Virginia Landmarks Register in December 2023.

Located along Birdneck Road (formerly Seatack Road), west of the Oceanfront, Seatack is a historically African American residential community that developed over time beginning in the late 19th century. The core of the district is located south of Virginia Beach Boulevard stretching down to Seatack Park. Three noncontiguous areas of Seatack to the north of Bells Road and one noncontiguous area north of Interstate 264 are also included in the historic district designation. 

Historically, Seatack has been a resilient community establishing its own school and fire department, when none was provided for it. The historic district consists mainly of single-family, modest vernacular dwellings. Houses there represent other popular residential styles including Minimal Traditional, Craftsman, Ranch and Colonial Revival.

The former Seatack Elementary School building, now utilized as the Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Training academy, is a cornerstone of the district. It was built in 1952 as the first consolidated elementary school for African American students in what was then Princess Anne County. The Seatack area was selected to have the first consolidated school for Black students because it was the central point of a large African American population and was said to be “where the need was greatest.”

The nomination was produced with assistance from the Underrepresented Communities grant program from the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. The grant program focuses on documenting the homes, lives, landscapes and experiences of underrepresented peoples who played a significant role in our national history. The grant to the City of Virginia Beach also supported listing in the National Register of Historic Places of the historically African American L & J Gardens Neighborhood Historic District in August 2022. Additional funding for these nominations was provided by the City of Virginia Beach through the Historic Preservation Commission.

Listing in the National Register of Historic Places is honorary and does not impose restrictions or provide protection for properties located in historic districts.

Exterior of Seatack Elementary School

The former Seatack Elementary School building is a contributing resource in the Seatack National Register Historic District in Virginia Beach.