A house built over 200 years ago for the son of George Read, Sr., a Delawarean who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the US Department of the Interior.
The George Read II House on The Strand in Historic New Castle, constructed between 1797 and 1804, becomes Delaware’s 14th landmark to gain official National Historic status.
The Federal-era building is noteworthy for its architecture, interiors, grounds and gardens, as well as extensive archives documenting the building’s history according to the Delaware Historical Society. The Society opened the Read House and Gardens in 1976.
“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.
The George Read II House is especially significant in understanding the evolution of American architecture during the early years of the nation. 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 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.