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Enlighten Me: Upgrades finished at George Read House

An eight-year project making mechanical upgrades at one of Delaware’s historic landmarks, the George Read House, is complete.

 

In this week’s Enlighten Me, Delaware Public Media’s Kelli Steele chats with George Read House director Brenton Grom about the upgrades and why they were needed to preserve this spectacular piece of architecture.

 

 

The $1 million effort at the Read House in Old New Castle may not be readily evident to visitors.

“It’s mostly about HVAC - so heating and cooling and controls for the humidity in the air," said Brenton Grom, the director of the George Read House. "And along with that - we’re sealing up any places where air or pests could get in around windows and doors - that kind of thing. It’s really going to put the house in a position to have great control over the climate and therefore protect the interiors and the collections inside.”

Grom says the 14,000-square-foot mansion was built between 1797 and 1804 for George Read II, the son of a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. 

Today, it’s a National Historic Landmark, maintained by the Delaware Historical Society.

Grom notes that more than 1,700 collection items are currently on exhibit in the House.

The project was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Crystal Trust and others.

Delaware Public Media visited the George Read House in 2017 as part of its 'History Matters' series to learn more about it and its significance: