Cape Gazette

Lewes post office dresses up for celebration

New landscaping to reveal building's architecture
By Henry J. Evans Jr. | Sep 27, 2013
Photo by: Henry J. Evans Jr. Cisco Tree Service workers finished the first task Sept. 26, in landscaping around Lewes’ US Post Office building. The Preserve Our Post Office project – POP – will increase public visibility of the 100-year-old building and beautify the grounds. Shown are (l-r) Chris Bell; Tim Cisco, Cisco Tree Service owner; Bruce Chandler, project chairman; and Nathan Zanks.

Lewes — The Lewes Preserve Our Post Office project is turning heads as workers transform landscaping so visitors and residents can see and appreciate the building’s outstanding architecture.

Lewes resident Bruce Chandler, a professional woodworker, asked friends J. Kevin McBride and Tim Cisco if they would help him.

McBride, a landscape architect and owner of Lewes-based Renaissance Design Studio, signed on, and so did Cisco.

The building is a century-old example of 1900s American architectural opulence.

Started in 1913 and completed in 1915, the massive, brick, neo-Georgian building dominates Front Street.

Chandler would also like to see the building’s interior architectural elements restored. Tiger oak trims the doorway of the walk-in vault inside the postmaster’s office.

Chandler said the project is on schedule and its bank account is in good shape.

He said public financial support has been generous, as have in-kind services from several companies.

He said the project would cost around $26,000; with in kind donations of  $16,000, and fundraising rounding out the remaining $10,000. Although they’re likely to meet the current goal, Chandler said lighting could be added if people continue to contribute.

Jack Lingo Realty Lewes Office contributed $1,000. In-kind donations are coming from Rich Bell, owner of Clean Cut Interlocking Pavers, for tree stump removal, soil deep raking to remove roots and stones, and edging installation around the site.

Doug Brown, owner of Brown Electrical Service is handling wiring. Plants are coming from East Coast Nursery, and owners Valery and Rick Cordrey are providing them at deeply discounted costs. Don Irelan, of Irelan Masonry will re-point brickwork. John Peterson, owner of J.H. Peterson Plumbing is taking care of plumbing; and Terry Bomar, installation manager for Sposato Landscape Co. is overseeing an irrigation system installation.

Lewes in Bloom volunteers will begin planting Saturday, Oct. 12. The post office’s 100th birthday celebration is at 8 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 19.

Cisco Tree Service workers tidy-up after cutting down trees, removing shrubbery and raking the ground around Lewes' US Post Office building. Tree stumps and roots will be removed by Rick Bell's Interlocking Pavers. (Photo by: Henry J. Evans Jr.)
Bruce Chandler, left, and Mike DiPaolo discuss DiPaolo's idea of placing an informational display about Lewes' 100-year-old US Post Office building on the corner of the site.Chandler started a grassroots project to clear the building's existing plantings, and then plant new trees, shrubbery and flowers that would beautify the area and allow the building's architecture to be seen. DiPaolo is executive director of Lewes Historical Society. (Photo by: Henry J. Evans jr.)
The cornerstone of Lewes' US Post Office building displays the year construction started in Roman numerals, 1913. (Photo by: Henry J. Evans jr.)
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