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West Wilmington

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Ethnically diverse, this extensive residential section contains two historic districts, 8th Street/Tilton Park and Cool Spring. Farther west is the hilltop neighborhood of Little Italy, recently marked by special signage and streetscape improvements (Design Collaborative). Concerned with the shortage of affordable rental housing for workers, William P. Bancroft's civic-minded real estate concern, Woodlawn Trustees, developed brick rowhouses west of Union Street between 4th and 7th streets (“The Flats”). Twenty rows were built in the first phase, 1902–1912, and offered unusual amenities: upto-date utilities, maintenance service, front and back yards, and a park. Wood-lawn Trustees still operates these units today. Far more upscale are fine homes along Bancroft Parkway. Wawaset Park (1919), near Pennsylvania and Greenhill avenues, was built for DuPont employees on the site of the fairgrounds that witnessed the pioneering flight of the homebuilt Wilmington Aero Club aircraft, Delaplane, in 1910. Wawaset's winding streets with Arts-and-Crafts and other stylish houses bears comparison to contemporaneous Union Park Gardens (WL78). West Wilmington has a number of interesting churches, including modernist, A-frame Zion Lutheran at Lancaster Avenue and Bancroft Parkway, by Philadelphia architect Harold Wagoner (1960–1961).

Writing Credits

Author: 
W. Barksdale Maynard

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