Century-old Shell House comes down

On market for over a year, duPont mansion property being subdivided into two lots
August 4, 2020

Story Location:
The Shell House
2 Penn Street
Rehoboth Beach  Delaware  19971
United States

After sitting on the market for over a year, a century-old beach mansion built by a member of the duPont family is being demolished just south of Rehoboth Beach.

Known as Shell House, Margaretta Lammot duPont Carpenter and her husband, Robert Ruliph Morgan Carpenter, built the house at 2 Penn St. in 1920. The house had seven bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths and a pool. It had views of the Atlantic Ocean and Silver Lake.

Meredith Townsend purchased the home roughly 20 years ago. Among other things, she is the granddaughter of John G. Townsend Jr., who was Delaware governor, U.S. senator and delegate to the United Nations.

The house, sitting on two lots, was listed by Jack Lingo Realtor’s Bryce Lingo in early 2019 for $14.9 million. Roughly a year later, the price was reduced to $13.9 million.

Lingo could not be reached for comment, but the house is no longer for sale on the Jack Lingo Realtor website. Instead, the two lots - one at .51 acres, one at .43 acres - are now for sale at $6.99 million each. Both lots are described as, “the most desired location on the Delaware coast.”

Located on the southern side of Penn Street, the property sits just south of the boundary of the City of Rehoboth Beach. The north side of the street falls within city boundaries. The house is one of roughly half a dozen properties located in Sussex County, on a quarter-mile stretch of oceanfront land between Rehoboth and Dewey beaches.

Per city code, every year from May 15 to Sept. 15, Rehoboth Beach has a moratorium on demolitions of any building 750 square feet, or larger or having a connection to city water or sewer lines. There is no such moratorium in Dewey Beach or Sussex County.

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