Dawn Buckworth's Home, Called Leftovers, Is One of The Historic Houses of Odessa: A Community of Homes Preserved by H. Rodney Sharp
Here’s what happens when you respect tradition yet embrace innovation.
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Dawn Buckworth’s house is called Leftovers, an architectural casserole of bricks, wood and iron salvaged from old country houses in southern New Castle County and put together in the English style of the 18th century.
On the exterior, there are four varieties of red brick, louvered black shutters on the front door and a gambrel-style roof sheathed in cedar shakes. Inside, visitors will find wide-planked pine floors, elegant wood-paneled walls, carved chair rails and wavy glass panes set into mullioned windows.
“When I look out the window, through that old glass, it’s like looking into the past,” Buckworth says.
Although the house looks as if it has stood since Colonial days, it was built in 1955 as quarters for the curator of the Historic Houses of Odessa, a community of homes preserved for the public by philanthropist H. Rodney Sharp.
Buckworth grew up nearby, the daughter of William “Bucky” and Jeanne Buckworth, preservation buffs and old house aficionados. Mrs. Buckworth managed Sharp’s office for many years and persuaded him to sell her the January House, built in 1772 across Main Street from the site where Leftovers stands.
Seventeen years ago, when Leftovers came on the market, Mrs. Buckworth had the inside track.
“No one dreamed it would ever be for sale,” her daughter recalls. “I was shocked when mom called to tell me it was available.”
Buckworth was teaching school in Wilmington, where she had bought a house several years earlier. Her mother suggested she take a look at Leftovers.
Initially, she hesitated. Did she want to leave the city for life in Odessa, population 364? Did she want to live across the street from her mom and dad? Did she want to take on a historic property and its maintenance issues?
Still, it doesn’t hurt to look. Buckworth drove to Leftovers. She walked up the granite steps, opened the big raised-panel door and passed beneath the transom, with its shimmering bull’s-eye glass. In an instant she had her answers.
Yes, yes and yes.
“I didn’t even have to see the rest of the house,” she recalls. “I knew that I wanted it.”
Page 2: Keeping it Real