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New Castle Hundred

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The low-lying region south of Wilmington, bounded by the Delaware and Christina rivers, was long agricultural but is now laced with divided highways and densely built-up. There were a number of country seats in this fertile area, but they have nearly all been destroyed. Eden Park, where colorful French immigrant Pierre Bauduy raised Merino sheep in the early nineteenth century, was leveled in 1892–1895. Swanwyck, one of several buildings that have been attributed to Bauduy, was hailed by architectural historians in the 1930s as a rare, Regency-style villa; it was already rundown, and what remained was spoiled by remodeling in 2003. Dunleith (1847, John Notman) was torn down about 1962. Long Hook, on the Christina River near I-495, part of which may have been seventeenth century, was demolished after a fire in the 1980s. Boothhurst (1842 addition by John Notman), home in the early twentieth century to architect Laussat Richter Rogers, burned in the 1990s and has been replaced with a housing development. Philadelphia architect Thomas U. Walter listed the Holcomb mansion, Devondale Hall, among his top professional accomplishments, but all traces of it have vanished beneath New Castle County Airport. This record of disappointments is redeemed, however, by Delaware's architectural showpiece, the town of New Castle, where many outstanding old buildings survive. And of quirky interest along Christiana Road west of Hare's Corner is an Egyptian Revival style house (early 1960s, Jack Hawkins Sr.) still occupied by its builder, who admires that ancient civilization.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard

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