On the New Castle riverfront, in the heart of the old city, the twenty-two room, 14,000-square-foot Read House dominates the streetscape with a monumental simplicity and distinctive Philadelphia architectural style. Designed for George Read II, son of a Delaware signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the house combined innovative Federal period design and advanced technological systems to create comfort and refinement.

Outside formal gardens installed in 1848 provided enjoyment for the late nineteenth and early twentieth century residents and continue to delight visitors today. Beneath the soil the layerd history of Delaware's earliest inhabitants and settlers survives. Their story unfolds through ongoing archaeology on the property.


Coming in 2015 from the University of Delaware Press: New Stories from Old Things: Alternate Histories of the Read House and Gardens. Interact with the region's leading material culture scholars NOW at the New Stories from Old Things companion website as they research and reveal new stories about the Read House and Gardens.


Delaware History Museum   |   Research Library   |  Read House & Gardens   |   Center for African American Heritage   |   Old Town Hall |   Willingtown Square

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The Delaware Historical Society is the statewide, non-profit organization that explores, preserves, shares, and promotes Delaware history, heritage, and culture to strengthen our community.