Joseph House moved to make way for new Clear Space Theatre facility
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – One historic house remains in tact but is getting a new address. Thursday, Clear Space Theatre moved the Joseph House, starting with the roof. “The Joseph house was built in the early 1920s and was used by the Joseph family. Frank Joseph was a merchant in town and we also believe was the bridge tender. So it represents that early tie with Rehoboth Beach’s development,” said Executive Director of Clear Space Theatre Wesley Paulson.
They’re planning to build a new facility on the site of where the house once was. A local man purchased the house from the theatre company. Paulson says the man who bought the house paid only a dollar for it, which was more symbolic than anything. “We were able to find Tom Kelly who said ‘Yes, I’ll take the house.’ He gave us a dollar for it in a nice gesture. He will move the house over to Lincoln Street and re-purpose it as a residence again,” said Paulson.
Paulson also tells 47ABC the house doesn’t just hold historical significance. It also was a home to the theatre company. “Clear Space is moving the Joseph House because of a requirement with federal funds that the house was declared historic and we should make a good faith effort to preserve it,” said Paulson. “When I watched them tear down the other house that was on the side that had no historic interest, I was really sad at the thought that a back hoe would rip into the wonderful Joseph house. So we’re happy to see it moved and look forward to building a new theater.”
Paulson says Clear Space Theatre is currently waiting on a permit from the city to begin construction on the new facility. “A group of citizens is also appealing the approval. So there’s a bit of a wait and see until June 14th when there’s another hearing. We’re hopeful that the city will grant us our permit so that we can continue our planning to build a new theater,” said Paulson.