The building that now houses The Stewart Law Firm was once known to be the historic “Old Farmers Bank.” This picturesque – and hand-numbered – dollar bill hailed from the old Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware, which was the second oldest bank statewide. The Dover-based bank was incorporated on February 4, 1807, following the success of the Bank of Delaware, which opened in Wilmington in 1795. In 1835, the bank purchased the lot at the corner of Third and Market Streets, where it constructed a small building with a white marble façade. Beginning in 1906, the bank acquired adjacent properties and constructed the much larger existing structure, which opened in 1915. The Farmers Bank and its successors, Girard Bank and Mellon Bank, occupied the building until 1996.
The masonry restoration team had the privilege to work on this historic piece of architecture. The scope of work initially started as a “semi typical” restoration project which included repointing marble joints, granite joints, brick joints, parapet repairs, stone repairs, etc. It quickly grew into a much larger and very detailed project. At first glance, the building appeared to be in stable condition. However, during the repair process, the restoration team discovered dislodged soffit stone, rusted and/or missing stone anchors, failing parapet walls, roof framing members anchored to failing walls, and large voids at concealed areas. Despite these challenges, the restoration team worked closely with the owner to bring the Stewart Law Firm building back to life.
The building is now restored with the history that once echoed in Wilmington years ago.
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