Ships Tavern Mews city block

Ships Tavern Mews

LOCATION: Wilmington | DE

CLIENT: Streuver Brothers Eccles & Rouse

STATUS: Completed 2004

PROGRAM: Adaptive Reuse and Historic Preservation Renovation

AWARD: National Preservation Award | 2005 | National Trust for Historic Preservation

Ships Tavern Mews represents one of the most ambitious renovation projects of the City of Wilmington’s ongoing revitalization efforts. The city block, stretching from 2nd Street to 3rd Street between Market and King Streets, once consisted of 21 dilapidated properties that were an eyesore acting as a barrier between downtown and the newly revitalized Christina Waterfront.

The vision for the block was to convert the separate buildings to a single apartment complex with one point of entry and retail below. Rather than demolish the buildings, historic tax credits were used to preserve their facades while reconfiguring the interiors into 86 unique apartments and 33,000 square feet of retail space. 36 of the units provide affordable housing.

The National Trust for Historic preservation honored the project with a National Preservation Award in 2005.

Market stree elevation drawing of Ships Tavern Mews

Connecting the buildings presented a challenge due to the slope of the site and varying floor heights of the existing structures.

Market street block before renovation
View up Market Street in the early 1900's

Most of the properties were in a state of profound decay making reconstruction and preservation into a surgical process.

2nd Street facade- before
2nd Street facade- after
225 Market St facade- before
225 Market St- Before

225 Market St facade- after
225 Market St- After
213 Market St facade- before
213 Market Street- Before

213 Market St facade- after
213 Market Street- After
restored cornice detail
restored corbels on barber shop
carved stone ornament with pig

The revitalized block better connects the redeveloped Christina Riverfront to downtown, leading commerce up the Market Street corridor.