You are here

Ships Tavern Mews

-A A +A
18th century–early 20th century. 1998–2003 restored, Curtis Harkin of Homsey Architects, with Struever Brothers Eccles and Rouse and Wilmington Renaissance Corporation. West side of Market St., between 2nd and 3rd sts.
  • Ships Tavern Mews (W. Barksdale Maynard)
  • Ships Tavern Mews (Courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society)
  • Ships Tavern Mews (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • Ships Tavern Mews (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

This important commercial grouping has survived intact and conveys the flavor of the mid-nineteenth-century Wilmington business district. Some buildings already appeared in a daguerreotype (c. 1850) made not long after a telegraph line was strung down the street. In 1998, a plan was devised to spend $107 million transforming six blighted blocks into a vibrant Ships Tavern District, the most ambitious preservation effort in Delaware history (honored with a National Trust for Historic Preservation award in 2005). Starting with this block, twenty-two old buildings were gutted and converted into eighty-six apartments, no two alike. Developers and city officials hoped to lure “upscale-funky” renters. The project was plagued by construction delays and lack of parking, and in 2006, Struever Brothers announced it would undertake no further development here, a setback to the entire Ships Tavern District effort.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Ships Tavern Mews", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 96-96.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.