Aerial View of Blocks 8, 17, and 27

Dublin Core


Aerial View of Blocks 8, 17, and 27


Aerial photographs - Virginia - Williamsburg
African American neighborhoods - Virginia - Williamsburg
Capitol (Williamsburg, Va.)
Block 08. Building 11.


Aerial view of Capitol site and Block 8 looking NW towards Blocks 17 and 27, Robert Lowell Warner Aerial Photographs of Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S. Naval Reserve Photographic Squadron, May 1945.

This view of the Capitol site looking towards Block 17, housing the Raleigh Tavern, and Blocks 27 and 28 along east Nicholson Street, is significant for its visual documentation of an entire neighborhood now disappeared that once served Williamsburg’s hospitality employees and African American community during the era of segregation. Today the area encompasses Colonial Williamsburg’s Franklin Street administrative buildings, bus operations, archaeological collections building, millwork shop, laundry, commissary, and warehouse. Two churches, Mount Ararat Baptist Church, on Franklin Street, and Union Baptist Church, on Botetourt Street, served the spiritual needs of residents. Along Raleigh Lane, extending off of Nicholson Street near the Public Gaol, stood the Odd Fellows Hall, also known as the Morninglight Lodge, the Hillside Café/Wallace and Cook’s Beer Garden restaurant, and the Thomas Confectionary, all of which provided venues for social and philanthropic activities during the era of segregation. The Toby Scott restaurant and store across Botetourt Street from Mount Ararat Baptist Church gave neighbors another place to shop and congregate.

As part of its effort to attract and retain well-trained hotel and restaurant workers from larger cities to work at hospitality properties, Colonial Williamsburg constructed a row of six white clapboard houses along East Scotland Street in the 1930s. They offered comfortable and up-to-date homes with a living room, full kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, and screened porches. Known as “White City” due to the painted white clapboard siding used on all six dwellings, they became the residences of chefs, bellmen, dining room captains, chauffeurs, and housekeepers for the Williamsburg Inn and Lodge. A large white clapboard dormitory building visible on the site of today’s Franklin Street Office Building provided additional lodging for single employees during a period when wartime housing pressures pushed Williamsburg to convert all useable spaces into extra accommodations. Today’s only remainder of this once vibrant neighborhood is Mount Ararat Baptist Church which still stands on Franklin Street next to the Franklin Street Office Building.


Warner, Robert Lowell



Is Part Of

Robert Lowell Warner Aerial Photographs, AV2022.2, 3




1 transparency





Rights Holder

Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format


Physical Dimensions

8.5 x 8.5 inches


Warner, Robert Lowell, “Aerial View of Blocks 8, 17, and 27,” John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed December 1, 2023,