Deirdre Fernandes - The Virginian Pilot
The subdivision across from Norfolk Academy looks like any other subdivision in Virginia Beach. Brick homes, some Colonial but mostly ranch-style, line the streets. Big yards are popular. Traffic is sometimes an issue. But decades ago L&J Gardens was unique to Virginia Beach.
When the neighborhood developed in the 1950s and 1960s, it was one of the first built by African-Americans for upwardly mobile black families. This is where the prominent doctors, lawyers, teachers, and even the city's first black council member, lived.