Old Court House - New Castle, Delaware
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 39° 39.585 W 075° 33.839
18S E 451620 N 4390145
Quick Description: Historic courthouse in New Castle, Delaware.
Location: Delaware, United States
Date Posted: 7/13/2014 8:19:34 PM
Waymark Code: WMM394
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member ddtfamily
Views: 4

Long Description:
The OLD COURT HOUSE, N. side of Delaware St., on the Green, scene of much of the activities of government of the Three Lower Counties from the early part of William Penn's period to the Revolution, and State House of Delaware (1775-1776), dominates both Green and old town.  Of brick, built at various times during three centuries, it has recently had its nineteenth century stucco removed as the beginning of a final restoration now being planned.  Signs of the decorative belt course of brick at the second floor level, that was "stepped" at the corner, are visible.  A 20-foot square section of the east wing many have been standing when William Penn landed at New Castle, 1682, to take possession of the Delaware territory.  The tradition persists that here the ceremony of "closing upon himself the door" in token of proprietorship took place even though contemporary accounts use the word "fort," and the fort then stood upon the site of Immanuel Church.

The large Early Georgian Colonial central section of Flemish-bond brickwork with glazed headers is believed to have been completed by 1704 when the separate Delaware Assembly met at New Castle for the first time.  Its arcaded octagon cupola formed the center of the "the 12-mile circle" that determined the location of the arc forming the north boundary of the Colony and State.  Its original doorway, shown on an old drawing, is well-proportioned classical design with pediment and pilasters, will soon be restored.  In 1845 a small west wing was removed and the present larger one of rough texture brick added.  Its foundation stones are the granite sleepers of the old New Castle & Frenchtown Railroad- Delaware: A Guide to the First State, 1938, pg 240.

The building is much as described in the Guide and has been restored and is operated as a museum.  The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1972.  The building became part of the First State National Monument in 2013.

The Old Court House is open for tours 10 am - 3:30- pm (Monday - Saturday) 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm (Sunday).  Admission is free, donations are accepted.


Book: Delaware

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 240

Year Originally Published: 1938

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