In 1930, Congress established Colonial National Monument (designated Colonial National Historical Park in 1936) to preserve and interpret the beginning and end of the British colonial experience in North America. The park included Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement and Yorktown, the last major battle of the American Revolution. The Colonial Parkway connects the two sites and Williamsburg.
Charles E. Peterson designed the Colonial Parkway as a picturesque, scenic route with expansive views of the York and James Rivers and brick overpasses to allow visitors to travel between the three historic sites without encountering modern intrusions. Construction began in 1931 at Yorktown. It reached the Williamsburg tunnel then stopped at the outbreak of World War II. The Jamestown section was completed just in time for the 350th anniversary of Jamestown in 1957.
The Colonial Parkway extends from this parking lot to the Yorktown Battlefield parking lot. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated an All-American Road.
To preserve and interpret the historic structures, landscapes and artifacts associated with the American colonial period from 1607 to 1781, at Jamestown, Yorktown and related sites, and to provide for a scenic highway connecting those sites for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.
Act of Congress, 1930
The Jamestown parking lot with the historic town site, 1957 Visitor Center, and 1907 Tercentenary Monument beyond, ca. 1957