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.
Connecting the buildings presented a challenge due to the slope of the site and varying floor heights of the existing structures.
Most of the properties were in a state of profound decay making reconstruction and preservation into a surgical process.
The revitalized block better connects the redeveloped Christina Riverfront to downtown, leading commerce up the Market Street corridor.