Historic Preservation Guidelines

There are three specific provisions of the Deed Restrictions (see Section 8B) that are designed to preserve and protect the integrity and visual sight lines of the historic homes:
  1. No additions (structures) are to be placed in front of the rear wall of the old (historic) structure.

  2. The height of the ridgeline of the roof of any addition cannot exceed the height of the ridgeline of the old (historic) structure.

  3. For lots interfacing with the Shipcarpenter Square commons, an open space of more than an acre unique to the City of Lewes and referred to in the city’s own statement of core values, structures are to be set back 25 feet from the commons.

Other provisions in the Deed Restrictions note that additions should be compatible with the original structure, that is, in harmony with the old (historic) structure and with the surrounding community.

Architectural Style

Most of the historic homes in Shipcarpenter Square are wood-frame structures, typically sheathed in wood shingles or clapboard, and have wood shingle or standing seam metal roofs. The windows are mostly divided light, double hung windows, although numerous variations exist due to construction and floor plan considerations. Exterior detailing is relatively plain and simple. Some structures, notably the barns, have an architectural style requiring more extensive modification to adapt them to residential use.

While the architectural style of any addition should be compatible, it does not need to be identical. Variations in materials, color, shape, etc., that distinguish the new addition from the old (historic) structure are acceptable and desirable.


The preponderance of material utilized for home construction in Sussex County in the 18th and 19th centuries was wood. Cypress, cedar, oak and pine were plentiful and were extensively utilized for structural elements, siding and interior finishes. Metal was sometimes used as a roofing material. Brick and stone were more expensive and were rarely used except for foundations and chimneys. The original homes in Shipcarpenter Square utilized all of these traditional materials, and the continued use of such materials has been encouraged in the additions, even though it is acknowledged that such materials are more costly to maintain and have a shorter life span than more contemporary products such as aluminum, vinyl and asphalt.

Disclaimer:  The materials at this web site, including the informal explanation of Shipcarpenter Square guidelines,
are provided for informational purposes only.