(DOVER, Del. — Dec. 13, 2021) — Beginning on Dec. 31, 2021, the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Delaware, will be closed for the installation of a fire sprinkler system throughout the historic building. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2022.
All contractors considered for the project were required to have experience working with historic buildings, and design schemes were reviewed by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service. New Castle residents and visitors may experience some minor inconveniences during the time that installation is taking place. Division staff and contractors will make every effort to keep disruptions to a minimum and to facilitate the timely installation of a fire suppressant system that will make the court house a safer place for both visitors and staff.
Prior to installing the sprinkler system, the museum’s contents will be made safe from damage, and staff will continue to work in alternative locations in the building while installation is taking place.
Built in 1732, the New Castle Court House is one of the oldest active courthouses in the United States and was Delaware’s first state capitol. Here in 1776, New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties declared their independence from Pennsylvania and England creating the Delaware State. During its nearly 300 years of history, this National Historic Landmark has played many pivotal roles in the political, social and commercial life of both New Castle and Delaware. Operated by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the museum is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.
The New Castle Court House Museum is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.