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.
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Ships Tavern Mews
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