Wilmington Design Standards for Historic Districts and Landmarks

6 5 4 3 2 1 Standards for Commercial Buildings Design Standards WILMINGTON HISTORIC DISTRICTS AND LANDMARKS 91 7 The storefront is often the most important feature of a commercial building. It is also the feature most frequently changed. The rehabilitation of historic storefronts preserves the architectural character of the building and increases business for the owners. Wilmington’s storefronts date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some original cast iron fronts survive complete with cornices , brackets and columns. Cornices of wood, brick and precast stone add vitality to the streetscape. Many transoms placed above display windows and doors to allow for air circulation remain; a few have decorative and banded glass. In the early 20th century, the display window was expanded; curved glass, stainless steel framing elements and a variety of bulkhead materials were introduced. Along Front and Market Streets, the storefront entrances are generally centered and recessed, with side doors to the upper stories. Compatible new designs for display windows in wood have been introduced. Canvas awnings are widely used and some original signs remain. In general later signs, including back-lit signs, are well designed and conform to the character of the district. Suggested Repair and Maintenance To ensure the preservation of historic storefronts, a regular inspection and maintenance program should be implemented. • Check for moisture damage, insect infestation, and structural changes. • Provide drainage to prevent water standing on fl at surfaces or around decorative elements. • Clean surfaces on a regular basis and paint when necessary. • To remove paint build-up and rust from cast iron storefronts, hand scrape and use wire brushes before painting. 5.2 Storefronts, Signs and Awnings Stemmerman’s Inn 130 South Front Street Source: City of Wilmington Wall Advertising W. H. McEachern’s Sons, Inc. 121 South Front Street Source: City of Wilmington