In recent months, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has received assistance from a variety of sources for repairs and improvements at two state-owned properties that are administered by the division—the Darley House located at 3701 Philadelphia Pike in Claymont and the Hale-Byrnes House located at 606 Stanton-Christiana Road in Newark.
At the Darley House, Delmarva Power installed a line, at no charge to the state, which can be used for delivering natural gas to the site. As part of the installation process, the utility company worked closely with division staff and the property’s tenant, the Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation, to accommodate archaeological monitoring at this National Register of Historic Places-listed site that once served as the home of noted 19th century illustrator Felix O. C. Darley.
Thanks to efforts by state Rep. Dennis E. Williams, Delaware’s Sustainable Energy Utility conducted an energy audit at Darley House. Williams then led efforts in the Delaware General Assembly that resulted in funding for a variety of improvements at the site including air sealing, weather stripping, chimney pointing, insulating select areas of the building and replacement of several incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Willams also helped secure funding for the construction of a fence along the property’s northern boundary and a connecting path from the adjacent property’s parking lot to Darley House.
This assistance was particularly helpful as it took place during a time when the division was already involved in repairing the property after a spring hail-storm damaged the house’s siding, wood trim, flashings, gutters, and main and porch roofs.
The Delaware Society for the Preservation of Antiquities, a nonprofit historic-preservation organization and tenant at the Hale-Byrnes House, sponsored repairs to the brick pathway and stairs leading from the parking lot to the house’s front entrance. These improvements will help to ensure safe access to this National Register of Historic Places-listed home built in 1750 and used in 1777 as a meeting place for Gen. George Washington and his staff between the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in Delaware and the Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania.