George Read II House Named a National Historic Landmark

January 12, 2017 – George Read II House Designated a National Historic Landmark. The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced that the George Read II House has been designated a National Historic Landmark. This is Delaware’s 14th National Historic Landmark, and it is now one of approximately 2,500 landmarks nationwide.

The George Read II House, located on The Strand in Historic New Castle, was built between 1797 and 1804 for the son of George Read, Sr., a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The outstanding Federal-era architecture and interiors, the grounds, and gardens, and extensive archives that document the building and the three families who occupied the residence, make the site invaluable for the study of early American history and culture. Since the Delaware Historical Society opened the Read House & Gardens in 1976, students, scholars, and visitors from around the world have visited and conducted research.

The National Historic Landmarks Program recognizes historic properties of exceptional value to the nation and promotes the preservation efforts of federal, state, and local agencies and Native American tribes, as well as those of private organizations and individuals. The program is one of more than a dozen administered by the National Park Service that provide states and local communities technical assistance, recognition, and funding to help preserve our nation’s shared history and create close-to-home recreation opportunities.

The George Read II House is especially significant in understanding the evolution of American architecture during the early years of the nation. It is a rare survivor that exemplifies the city of Philadelphia where the Federal style was first manifested. The construction of the house is documented in more than 130 letters, drawings, and invoices housed at the Delaware Historical Society’s research library. Related materials dating from the founding fathers to the present day are found in the Society’s extensive collections. More than 1,700 collection items are currently on exhibit in the house.

“The multi-layered history of the Read House and countless stories of the people who lived and worked there, help reveal the complexity of early American life and contribute to our understanding of the history and culture of Delaware, the mid-Atlantic, and the nation,” said Michele Anstine, Assistant CEO and Chief Program Officer of the Delaware Historical Society.

About the Delaware Historical Society The Delaware Historical Society owns and operates the Delaware History Museum; the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage; a nationally recognized Research Library; Old Town Hall; Willingtown Square, four 18thcentury houses surrounding a picturesque urban courtyard located in downtown Wilmington; and the Read House & Gardens, a National Historic Landmark. For more information, call (302) 655-7161, email or visit