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Amstel house, New Castle, Delaware

This corner of Delaware & 4th Streets is in the midst of two blocks of fine Georgian and Federal houses. It was once a place of power, wealth and prestige.  In the three corner homes lived people who were the governor of Delaware, its U.S. Senators, state supreme court judge and chancellor.

The Amstel House at 2 E. 4th Street with green painted trim (built 1737 by Dr. John Finney) has typical Georgian details: front gable with pediment and horizontal elements: a "watertable" of brick from ground to knee level and a "string course" at the first floor ceiling level.  This house is now a museum of the New Castle Historical Society.  Note the much more modest late 19th century homes just down 4th street.

The Nicholas Van Dyke Jr. house at 400 Delaware was built in 1799 is transitional between Federal in style.  There is a projecting Greek style gable with pediment and ornate protruding door surround. However, the horizontal string course and watertable are gone.

The Kensey Johns Jr. house (313 Delaware, built 1823 is also Federal in style: the whole front and sides are flat.  Gone are the string course and watertable of the Amstel House, and the front door is now recessed. The builder was a U.S. Representative and Delaware Chancellor.

All three buildings are of flemish bond brick construction.  The Amstel House has 9/9 windows with a central chimney, the others 6 over 6 windows. The Kensey Johns Jr. house has large paired gable end chimneys.

The fourth corner of this intersection has been Bridgewater Jewelers since 1885.  It was originally built with a ground floor shop and upstairs residence in the early 1800's???

Next to the jewelers is the Opera House/Masonic temple built in 1879 in Second Empire style. It has shops on the first floor and a large room (now a bookshop) on the second capable of holding 600 people.

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Copyright: Jim Meek
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 12288x6144
Taken: 21/04/2011
Uploaded: 21/04/2011
Updated: 09/03/2015


Tags: new castle delaware historic building museum
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