The Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation will hold a business meeting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017 at The Old State House located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del. As part of the meeting, the board will review a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Jackson-Wilson House located at 12 Red Oak Road in Wilmington. The public is invited to attend the meeting which will feature a presentation by architectural historian Robin Krawitz on the history and significance of the house. Admission is free.
The Jackson-Wilson House was constructed in 1914 in the Tudor Revival style. It is eligible for listing in the National Register under Criterion C for its high level of architectural integrity. According to Krawitz, author of the nomination, it is an outstanding example of the Tudor Revival style and was designed by the New York City architectural firm of Shape and Bready.
Among its distinctive architectural features are its complex configuration of roof details including gable, hipped and jerkin head forms which intersect and connect at varying angles, as well as a cornice of raking corbeled brickwork. Roof dormers also represent a variety of forms including eyelid, pedimented and hipped designs. The brickwork of the body of the house as well as the retaining walls and piers of the property gate all display a Flemish bond pattern with a projecting water table and feature irregularly shaped clinker bricks.
The spacious interior of the house features a combination of Tudor and Colonial Revival elements. For example, Tudor characteristics include the use of dark quarter sawn oak beams, leaded casement windows and a large fireplace with herringbone patterned brick fire back. Colonial Revival features include an open string staircase with squared newel posts in the entryway and low paneled dado.
The house was originally constructed for Willard Cartwright Jackson and his wife Josephine Willauer Jackson. Mr. Jackson served as director of the New Castle Water Works Company in 1904, became director of the National Bank of Wilmington and Brandywine in 1906 and went into a partnership with Richard R. Banks which established the Wilmington Automobile Company by 1907. His wife was born and raised in Pennsylvania and according to the U.S. Census of 1900, was listed as a music teacher. Research revealed that her brother, Arthur Ebbs Willauer, listed in the same census as an architect, moved to New York by 1905. It is interesting to note that the architectural firm which constructed the Jackson-Wilson House started as a partnership which Mrs. Jackson’s brother Arthur established by 1910 under the name of Willauer, Shape, and Bready. It is assumed that the commission for the construction of this residence was taken on prior to Arthur’s death and was completed by his surviving partners.
The Jackson family owned this residence until 1921 when the property was transferred to Joseph Shields Wilson and his wife Lois Martenis Wilson. Mr. Wilson served as Wilmington’s city attorney, and as its mayor from 1946 to 1949. He also served as chief executive of the Bellanca Aircraft Company and eventually, as president of the Board of Harbor Commissioners.