A young banker from Washington, D.C., moved to Lewes and teamed up with a local restorer of old houses to create Lewestown Restorations, Inc., a real estate venture. They purchased eleven acres and, by 1988, had brought in twenty-six of a planned thirty-six historic houses, which they restored and sold. The houses were from Delaware, except for one from Virginia and one from Maryland. All were purchased for under $1,500; the move typically cost at least $10,000 and the restoration, $50,000. The developers used the historic Beers' Atlas of Delaware (1868) to identify potential houses for purchase. The oldest dwelling was said to be Mt. Pleasant, from Kent County (1730); there was a log house of 1795; and the youngest building dated to 1880. In order to make the houses attractive to buyers, each was massively rehabilitated and provided with a kitchen wing. Old rural dwellings are thus given a new lease on life in a pleasant suburb, but, some critics argue, the houses have lost much of their interest by being shorn of their original context and heavily restored to suit modern lifestyles.
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