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Quaint Wilmington neighborhood joins historic district


The Westbrook-Ardmore neighborhood is Wilmington’s eighth historic district. The quaint neighborhood near Wrightsville Avenue and 17th Street was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. Neighbors, city officials, and preservationists gathered for the announcement Wednesday evening.

“It establishes great credibility and significance to an area and I think what it does is help instill in people that my place is special,” said George Edwards of the Historic Wilmington Foundation.

The Westbrook-Ardmore homes are 80 to 90 years old; many of them turn of the century bungalows. “This neighborhood was built by developers, one of the first historic neighborhoods in Wilmington to be built by developers, so you have nice uniformity, but you still see wonderful diversity,” Edwards said.

But what’s a historic neighborhood without friendly neighbors to live in the cherished homes? Westbrook-Ardmore resident Jill Blackman said, “We all chat with one another, we know one another, we hail each other from front porches, our kids are playing on the sidewalk.”

There is more to living in a historic neighborhood than just the title. Greg Wessel, also a Westbrook-Ardmore resident, said, “It’s good to know we’ll have the advantage of tax credits and recognition that this neighborhood has long deserved.”

Many hope the historic designation will help slow the process of the Alcohol Beverage Commission expanding its 17th Street facility. That has already resulted in the demolition of some homes in the Westbrook-Ardmore neighborhood.

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videoWilmington’s history is one of the city’s most appealing and interesting aspects. More than 6,000 buildings here are part of the National Register of Historic Places, which now includes one neighborhood that was just added.

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