Bookends…

8 02 2012

This is an update on a project the Hue Architecture has been involved in since late 2007. The project, featured in the rendering below, has had its share of starts and stops but is now scheduled to be completed late Spring of this year.

400 Block of North Market Street in Downtown Wilmington, Delaware

The property, stretching from 4th to 5th Streets and situated on the Easterly side of North Market Street, has a varied history of commerce and habitation. Many of the buildings were a part of the vibrant downtown fabric of Wilmington commerce that was active for 100+ years prior to the urban flight that plagued so many other cities across our country during the mid part of the 20th Century. By the early 1990’s these buildings had become decaying shells of the original glory only to be compounded by the encroachment of a new office building, The Renaissance Center, which started construction in 2005.

The Renaissance Center, Fronting on North King Street, eventually took most of the block, from King to Market, for the office tower and associated parking garage and all that remained of the Market Street side was the corner buildings (in their entirety) and facades (of the balance) as were required by The City of Wilmington in an effort to preserve the historic character of Market Street. While the Renaissance Center developers had plans for rehabilitation of the Market Street side, the property was eventually sold to Preservation Initiatives (our client) and this odyssey began.

Now, fast forward to 2012, and we are quickly approaching the completion of this unique project. As mentioned above, only the 4th and Market and 5th and Market buildings survived in their entirety; the other structures were whittled down to their facades and about 18′ of dilapidated and unsafe structures. These buildings are now being transformed into unique retail boutiques and eating venues on the street levels and creative living spaces above. The images, below, give a quick “perspective” of how the “bookend” structures are evolving and a taste of what’s to come as North Market Street continues to become a jewel in Downtown Wilmington, Delaware. As the project nears completion, I will provide another update with interior images but, for now, enjoy and share this wonderful evolution!

Corner of 4th and Market Before, Proposed, and Progress

5th and Market Before, Proposed, and Progress

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4 responses

29 03 2012
Mary E. Wilson-Dawson

I was born and raised in Wilmington. After attending the University of Delaware I relocated to NYC, Philadelphia, Atlanta and DC. I arrived back here 2 years ago and have been looking for a home that is somewhat comprable to where I lived in the village. 4th and Market or 2ndLoma are of interest. Would you be able to tell me how many units you will have in the new construction at 4th & Market. As a little girl my mother and I frequented this block– Dry Goods, Federal Bakery, the man roasting peanuts on the corner — meat markets. Please let me know!

24 04 2012
Hue Architecture

Sorry that I did not see your comment earlier. Don Meginley with, Preservation Initiatives, is the developer and is in charge of leasing, etc. He has an office at 218 W, Ninth Street, in Wilmington.

24 04 2012
jill gray

I love the restoration work happening on Market Street in Wilmington, what a fantastic rehab project you’ve chosen…..

15 10 2012
Susan Ciconte

Were you involved in the restoration work at 4th and King? My grandfather owned most of the corner lot with the buildings and operated a grocer business from the 1930s to the 1970s. I understood his property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the 1970s. I have a photograph from the 1920s of that same property, too. Thank you.

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