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Northwest Wilmington

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Joshua T. Heald opened northwest Wilmington to development with his horse-drawn railcar line along Delaware Avenue in 1864. Today, the area is divided into two sections by the tracks of the former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The eastern section comprises dense, relatively affordable residential neighborhoods closer to downtown, including Trolley Square, former site of the railcar depot; the western section includes the expensive Highlands. The Delaware Avenue historic overlay zoning district in the eastern section, established in 1979, is a showcase for late-nineteenth-century architectural styles. Other such districts embrace Kentmere Parkway and the outstanding collection of early-twentieth-century houses near Rockford Park in the vicinity of Willard Street. A lost landmark is the B&O Station of Frank Furness (designed 1886), one of the most innovative buildings ever erected in Wilmington and the scene of whistle stop speeches by Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman in the 1940s. Disgracefully, it was demolished for a grocery store parking lot in the fall of 1960. A Furness design survives at 1315 Delaware Avenue, a c. 1887 addition to a house of the 1870s.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard

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