Demolishing Four-Squares; raising newspaper price

May 5, 2017

A reader called this week asking about the ultimate disposition of the 1917 Four Square-style house on Brooklyn Avenue in Rehoboth Beach slated for demolition earlier this year.

“Gone,” I said. “No one contested the permit. It was granted. The contractors rolled in to do their job, and that piece of history is gone.”

I don’t mean to overplay the drama of the loss. Life goes on. But it is notable when one of the older houses of Rehoboth Beach leaves us. The transitory nature of life and existence.

Four-Squares aren’t just leaving in Rehoboth Beach. Not long after I grabbed some photos of the Brooklyn Avenue demolition, I was bicycling down Bay Avenue in Lewes. Same scene, different location.

Another Four-Square, probably of the same vintage as the Rehoboth Beach house, was coming down. Both are being replaced with fine new homes; both are in expensive resort communities.

The real estate on which the Four-Squares stood - in one case bayfront, in the other ocean block - has become far more valuable than the homes originally built on them.

When they were built a hundred years ago, construction of the houses probably cost considerably more than the lots. Supply and demand have reversed that equation.

Gazette newsstand price hike

The only thing constant is change. And so too at the Cape Gazette.

With this edition of the paper, we have increased the newsstand price of the paper. After two decades or so at 50 cents, the price is now $1. The price increase will allow us to sustain the quality of our community newspaper at the high level we’ve been committed to since we first began publishing the Cape Gazette on Memorial Day weekend in 1993.

The price increase will also allow us to give our newsstand dealers more money for each Gazette sold. They are our partners, and we want them to get a fair share for their efforts.

The Gazette is available at more than 100 stores, primarily in eastern Sussex County. We also sell the newspaper in about 100 vending machines spread throughout the area.

The machines take quarters, so, if you’re one of the hundreds of people who enjoy taking their morning walks on Tuesdays and Fridays, and picking up the paper from one of our machines, you’ll need four quarters now instead of two. Hit that change jar and you’ll be fine.

We’ve notified the mint in Philadelphia that they may need to stamp out a few more quarters to meet the demand. (Joke. Don’t want to be accused of peddling fake news.)

The most economical way to read the Cape Gazette continues to be with an annual subscription delivered to your mailbox. Those prices are remaining the same. If you’d like to subscribe, call Melissa in our subscription department - 645-7700 Ext. 302 - and she will be happy to help you.

With this edition, we are also expanding our distribution to about 40 more outlets and boxes spread across the central, western and southern areas of Sussex. The Route 1 corridor between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach is the largest city in Sussex County. Shopping throughout the area, entertainment venues and restaurants - and the beaches - make the primary coverage area we have long called Delaware’s Cape Region a magnet for all of Sussex. Many of our readers work in this area but live westward, where homes and rents are more affordable than along the coast.

Expanding our distribution will provide more opportunity for folks throughout the county to know what’s happening here and make more informed plans.

Don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know if there are ways that we can improve the newspaper to make it more valuable and enjoyable. Our names and phone numbers and email addresses are in the section on page 6 known as the masthead and online at under “contact.”

Thanks for being Cape Gazette readers.

  • Dennis Forney has been a journalist on the Delmarva Peninsula since 1972 and has been writing his Barefootin’ column for The Whale and then the Cape Gazette for more than 30 years. Contact Dennis at