Historic New Garden home to be purchased
By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
At his presentation at the New Garden Township Building on Feb. 18, local land development coordinator Bill Romanelli said that as part of the 200-acre development – financed by JP Morgan Chase on property it now owns – that has been proposed to be built along Route 41, the project will rehabilitate two historic buildings – the Moses Ronan House on Sunny Dell Road and the Taylor Barn on Sheehan Road.
While that's great news for those helping to preserve a part of the township's past, there was one more rung that was recently added to the list of historic homes that will be spared the contractor's wrecking ball.
Wilkinson Homes has announced that they have tendered a sales contract for the sale of the historic Middleton House, located at the confluence of Newark, Laurel heights and Sunny Dell roads in Landenberg. The home, speculated to have been built between 1783-1796, sits at the corner lot of Wilkinson Homes' new Middleton Crossing, an L-shaped, seven-home development that offers homes in the $539,000-$649,000 range on lots ranging from 1.56 acres to 2.42 acres.
Under a May 2019 agreement with New Garden Township – and at the request of the township's Historical Commission – Wilkinson Homes agreed to an 18-month period to sell the house before submitting an application for a demolition permit for the home. The agreement was brokered with Romanelli, Charles Wilkinson, township solicitor Vince Pompo and former township manager Tony Scheivert.
Romanelli said that after showing the home to dozens of potential buyers, the actual buyer expressed great interest in renovating the home.
“There were many times when I felt that we weren't going to able to sell the Middleton home, because we were not going to find the right buyer to do justice to the house,” he said. “It takes the right person with the right vision to want to be the one to see it through.”
The purchase of the Middleton house may eventually kick off an initiative by the Historical Commission to make themselves known to those who purchase historic homes in the township in the future.
“We want to educate potential buyers as they move into an historic house and tell them about the historic significance of the house,” said Commission member Brian Roberts. “If someone does buy it, they're buying it because they want a piece of history. We're going to share with them everything we know about the house, because we want them to be proud of their purchase.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.