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The Delaware Historical Society seeks public input for revitalization project

Delaware Historical Society

The George Read II House & Gardens are a National Historic Landmark located in New Castle. And starting August 11th, planning begins to give the 2.5 acres of grounds surrounding the house a makeover.

Brenton Grom, Director of the George Read II House and Gardens at the Delaware Historical Society, says the gardens, which haven’t been redesigned since the early 20th century, need some attention.

“We’re taking this as an opportunity to make them sustainable,” explained Grom. “Not just in an environmental sense, but also in a sense of being socially sustainable to match our current mission as an organization: to empower people and communities. And to make them financially sustainable too, so we can maintain them to the standards they deserve.”

The Delaware Historical Society is partnering with DAVID RUBIN Land Collective of Philadelphia and Indianapolis to develop a design concept that is rooted in community input. DHS will be hosting a series of public meetings to find out what the community wants, and keep them updated on the designs to receive community feedback.

Along with creating a design that reflects what the community wants, DHS also aims to spotlight forgotten voices and identities in the new garden.

“We know that there’s more to represent in these gardens than they’re currently showing,” said Grom. “And we would like to open up that history so that the really wide, diverse and rich community around us can latch on to any and all of those different parts of its history as we think about what it would look like in the future.”

This includes recognizing the rich Lenape culture that existed on the land for thousands of years prior to colonization, and highlighting figures who were erased from history.

The first public meeting is Thursday, August 11th at 6:30pm. More information can be found online at

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021