Rehab work underway at Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes

June 25, 2020

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs began rehabilitation work June 22 at the Zwaanendael Museum on Kings Highway in Lewes.

Expected to continue for approximately one month, work will include cleaning the entire building exterior with attention paid to its ornamental design features, replacement of weather-damaged shutters, and repainting of all remaining window frames and shutters according to existing colors and design.

The division will work with the contractor to limit public inconvenience during the project. Residents and visitors will notice the presence of equipment, materials and workers on site as well as the usual noises that go with construction work during daytime hours. No evening or weekend work is anticipated.

The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin, the architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover, the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. Crowning the building’s façade is a statue of David Pietersz de Vries, general administrator of the Swanendael colony. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.

The museum will remain open during the process, but, in keeping with Gov. John Carney’s plans for reopening the state in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, visitation is limited to 30-minute, self-guided tours by advance registration only at 10 and 11 a.m., 1 and 2 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays; and 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., Sundays. Admission is free. For more information and reservations, call 302-645-1148.

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