The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation recently issued a policy statement designed to encourage local communities undergoing revitalization to integrate historic preservation principles in their planning and redevelopment activities.
The policy statement was developed with the assistance of a work group composed of federal and state agencies, preservationists and non-profit organizations following publication of the council’s 2014 report “Managing Change: Preservation and Rightsizing in America.” That report revealed that communities did not consider historic preservation when making rightsizing decisions. It offers a number of principles that should be considered by stakeholders to incorporate historic preservation into revitalization efforts:
–Tax credits and tax incentives can be used to promote historic preservation projects that preserve local assets
–Historic preservation should be incorporated in local planning efforts that focus on sustainability and smart growth
–Effective citizen engagement that reflects the diversity of the community can assist in identifying historic properties and cultural resources that should be considered for preservation and reuse
–Flexibility in the treatment of some historic buildings in Section 106 reviews can help achieve broader neighborhood preservation goals
The council plans an extensive outreach campaign on the new policy, including webinars that will explain, among other things, the use of local, state and federal tax credits to stimulate historic preservation projects in targeted communities.
An independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation promotes the economic, educational, environmental, sustainability and cultural values of historic preservation, and advises the president and Congress on national historic preservation policy. It also influences federal activities, programs and policies that affect historic and cultural properties.
The National Park Service has recently prepared a rehabilitation and use plan for the Sheriff’s House located at 10 Market St. in New Castle, Del. Originally owned by the State of Delaware and administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the historic structure was transferred to the federal government in 2013 as part of the process of creating the First State National Historical Park. Compatible adaptive-reuse of the building is needed so that it can be used as park administration-space, and as a centralized visitor contact station and orientation point for information on all sites within the park.
The rehabilitation and use plan for the Sheriff’s House is now available for public review and comment. The comment period closes March 31, 2017. In addition, the Park Service will hold a public meeting to review the plan, answer questions and discuss upcoming steps. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the New Castle Court House Museum located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del. For additional information, call 302-544-6363.
On Jan. 30, 2017, the National Park Service announced that the city of New Castle had been accorded the status of a Certified Local Government. Part of a nationwide effort, the Certified Local Government Program in Delaware is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office in partnership with the Park Service. The program strengthens preservation efforts at the local-level by providing technical and financial assistance while encouraging successful preservation programs and practices. Delaware now has seven Certified Local Governments: Delaware City, Dover, Lewes, Milton, city of New Castle, New Castle County and the city of Wilmington.
Founded by the Dutch under Peter Stuyvesant in 1651, the town that would later be called New Castle served as Delaware’s Colonial and state capital from 1704 until 1777. The city’s well-preserved historic district retains many original structures built between 1698 and 1873 representing a wide variety of architectural styles including Dutch Colonial, Georgian, Federal and Greek Revival. Two division-administered properties—the New Castle Court House Museum and The Green—are components of the First State National Historical Park which has its headquarters in Delaware’s original capital city.
In April 2016, the division completed a year-long, $350,000 capital improvement project at four properties that it administers in New Castle—the Court House, Green, Arsenal and Academy. In June of that same year, the agency was recognized for its efforts as the recipient of the New Castle Historical Society’s 2016 Bamberger Historic Preservation Award.
For information about the New Castle Historic District National Historic Landmark, as well as individual New Castle properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, go to Delaware’s Cultural and Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS). Go to the following for information on the city of New Castle’s Historic Area Commission and its design guidelines and standards for exterior alterations of existing buildings and new construction in the city’s historic district.
Harriet Tubman Day 2017 in Delaware will be celebrated on Saturday, March 11, 2017 with a series of free public programs at two locations in downtown Wilmington.
Activities will begin with a State of Delaware proclamation ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Delaware History Museum located at 504 N. Market St. RSVP requested by March 3, 2017 by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the ceremony, family programs on Tubman and the Underground Railroad will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Delaware History Museum, and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Wilmington Friends Meeting House located at 401 N. West St. Reservations for the family programs are requested by calling 302-655-7161 or e-mailing email@example.com.
Harriet Tubman Day is held annually in commemoration of the March 10, 1913 death of the noted Underground Railroad conductor. Born a slave in 1820, Tubman is credited with personally escorting over 300 slaves to freedom on more than 20 separate trips through Maryland and Delaware. These escapes included her own from a Dorchester County, Md. farm in 1849. Tubman was an abolitionist, humanitarian and Union spy during the Civil War. Her 100 percent success rate in helping slaves escape to freedom made her a legend throughout the country. She is documented as traveling through Sussex and Kent counties in Delaware with the aid of local black families, and she frequently collaborated with noted abolitionist Thomas Garrett of Wilmington.
The 2017 Harriet Tubman Day celebration in Delaware is sponsored by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Delaware Historical Society, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, the Quaker Hill Historic Preservation Foundation, the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware and the Wilmington Friends Meeting House.
In order to solicit information for use in drafting Delaware’s 2018–2022 statewide historic preservation plan, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be holding five public meetings at locations across the state in March 2017. All meetings are free and open to the public. For directions and other information, call the division at 302-736-7400. In the event of inclement weather, notice of cancellation will be announced via local radio stations.
Public meetings will be held on the following dates:
–Thursday, March 2, 2017, 6 p.m., Laurel Public Library, 101 E. Fourth St., Laurel, Del. 302- 875-3184
–Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 6 p.m. Appoquinimink Community Library, 651 N. Broad St., Middletown, Del., 302-378-5588
–Thursday, March 9, 2017, 6 p.m., Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Ave., Lewes, Del., 302-645-2733
–Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 6 p.m., Dover Public Library, 35 E. Loockerman Plaza, Dover, Del., 302-736-7030
–Saturday, March 25, 2017, 1 p.m., Delaware Historical Society, 505 N. Market St., Wilmington, Del., 302-655-7161
Those interested in Delaware’s historic buildings, communities and sites are invited to attend these public meetings in order to share their thoughts on the future of historic preservation in the state. Public input will be incorporated into the updated historic preservation plan which is scheduled to be released in January 2018. For background information, individuals may review the goals and objectives identified in the last planning process by accessing Delaware’s current historic preservation plan.
Written comments may also be submitted to the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, 21 The Green, Dover, DE 19901; or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the Delaware historic preservation plan is extremely useful for the division, it is not a blueprint for state government alone. Rather, it includes goals and strategies that benefit preservation advocates across Delaware. The plan provides all Delawareans who are passionate about historic preservation with a framework for effective decision-making; for coordinating statewide preservation activities; and for communicating statewide preservation policy, goals and values to the preservation constituency, decision-makers and interested and affected parties across the state.
Written on: February 24th, 2017 in News
Scott Hayes, a physical-plant trades mechanic for the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Preservation Maintenance Team, recently received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Wilmington University. Over the course of his studies, the Dover resident earned a grade point average of 3.67 which merited him a place in the university’s Honor Society.
Hayes has worked for the division since June 2015. On Sept. 28, 2016, Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock presented Hayes and three other members of the Preservation Maintenance Team with the Department of State’s 2016 Employee of the Second Quarter award for their actions in helping to save the life of one of their co-workers.
The five museums of the State of Delaware will be sponsoring 14 special events during the month of March 2017. A full schedule is included below. All programs are free and open to the public.
Administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through tours, exhibits, school programs and hands-on activities, the museums shine a spotlight on Delaware’s unique history and the diverse people who came to live there. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park.
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special programs, March 2017
Saturday, March 4, 2017
“A Woman’s World: Journal Making.” Women have been integral in documenting the history of the plantation through letters and journals. Drop-in for this activity and create your own handmade journal. National Women’s History Month program. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
“The Influence of the Shadd Family.” Presentation by historic-site interpreters Latecia Prophet and Gavin Malone explores one of Delaware’s 19th-century families who led extraordinary lives of privilege despite obstacles of race and gender in their time. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-744-5054.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
“From Prima Donnas to Divas: A Victor Creation.” Program examines the talented female vocalists of the Victor Talking Machine Company and how they paved the way for the divas of today, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings of those artists played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State and National Women’s History Month program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Program at 3 p.m. in the museum’s 2nd floor gallery (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.
Monday–Sunday, March 6–12, 2017
“Stories of Courage and Freedom.” Part of the “Find Your Freedom” series held in celebration of National Harriet Tubman Day. Program will feature stories of bravery, courage and freedom, and visitors can obtain The Old State House Network to Freedom cancellation stamp. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.
Tuesday–Saturday, March 7–11, 2017
“Run For Freedom.” Part of the “Find Your Freedom” series held in celebration of National Harriet Tubman Day. Program will feature African-American history tours focused on the lives of three enslaved individuals who escaped from bondage. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Concert by Mike Nielsen on Celtic harp and bouzouki. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 5 p.m. 302-744-5054. Note: The starting time for this program has been changed from 7:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
“Thomas Garrett and his Role in the History of Delaware Slavery.” Part of the “Find Your Freedom” series held in celebration of National Harriet Tubman Day. Program will explore Delaware’s history of slavery, the Abolition movement and the activities of noted Abolitionist Thomas Garrett. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Programs at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-323-4453.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
“Listen Up! African American and Women’s History.” Local youth working with noted Delaware spoken-word artists perform their own spoken-word compositions that bring to light the history of Delaware’s African-Americans and women with special tributes to Underground Railroad conductors Samuel D. Burris and Harriet Tubman. Part of the “Listen Up!” series that features young people who utilize poetry, theater, dance and song to create compositions that celebrate different aspects of Delaware history. National Women’s History Month program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Performance at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054. Note: The spoken-word program on African-American history, originally scheduled for Feb. 4, 2017, was combined with women’s history for this March 11, 2017 program.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
“Patriots and Loyalists: Life in Lewes—A Town Torn During the Revolution.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Andrew Lyter. Final segment of “Ship to Shore Saturdays,” a four-part series that chronicles local Lewes history. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than March 10, 2017.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
“Thomas Garrett and his Role in the History of Delaware Slavery.” Part of the “Find Your Freedom” series held in celebration of National Harriet Tubman Day. Program will explore Delaware’s history of slavery, the Abolition movement and the activities of noted Abolitionist Thomas Garrett. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-323-4453.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
“A Woman’s World: Watercolors.” Experience the art of water coloring, view family drawings and paint your own watercolor. National Women’s History Month program. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
“The Minstrel Boy: The Life of John McCormack.” In celebration of Irish Heritage Month, program by museum interpreter Gavin Malone explores the life of the noted Irish tenor John McCormack, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Program at 3 p.m. in the museum’s 2nd floor gallery (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-739-3262.
Monday, March 27, 2017
John Dickinson Plantation service project—log’d dwelling clean up. Join staff and volunteers in revitalizing an example of the type of structure that would have been lived in by the plantation’s tenants and enslaved people. Volunteers will help move and clean furniture using some of the same cleaning products from the 18th century. Registration is recommended by contacting the division’s Volunteer Services Coordinator at 302-736-7411 or HCA_VolunteerSvcs@delaware.gov. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 1–4 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.
EXHIBIT CLOSED on Aug. 24, 2018
From Feb. 15, 2017 to Aug. 24, 2018, Lewes, Del.’s Zwaanendael Museum featured the exhibit “Rose Color to Gold to Glowing Red: Orville and Ethel Peets in Paris 1913-1914” which included 15 paintings—eight works by Orville Houghton Peets (1884-1968) and seven works by his wife Ethel Canby Peets (1877-1955). Also displayed were an assemblage of painting materials used by the noted Delaware artists including paint brushes and palettes.
Ethel and Orville Peets are credited with bringing fresh, modern ideas to Delaware after their move to Herring Creek near Millsboro in the 1930s. They each influenced the local art-scene in a profound and lasting manner by creating art, teaching classes and holding art forums. Between 2004 and 2007, more than 400 pieces of the couple’s multimedia artwork and artists’ supplies were donated to the collections of the State of Delaware by the Peets’ longtime friends Skipper and Til Purnell.
About the artists …
Ethel Poyntell Canby (1877–1955) started her art training at the Clawson S. Hammitt School of Art in Wilmington and became friends with fellow artists Ethel P. Brown and Brown’s future husband William Leach. Canby went on to studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and, informally, with Howard Pyle in Wilmington. She later travelled to Paris to study at the Académie Moderne and kept a detailed diary of those years. Her work was twice awarded prizes by the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts and was exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Orville Houghton Peets (1884–1968) studied art in Paris at the Académie Julien and the École des Beaux-Arts. He exhibited across the United States and won numerous prizes for his prints and oil paintings. In Delaware, he organized the Wilmington Print Club, taught at the Wilmington Academy of Art, exhibited at the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts and was a primary artist for the State Portrait Commission for which he was commissioned to paint 14 portraits. His works are in the collections of the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Baltimore museums of art; the University of Delaware; the Rehoboth Art League and the State of Delaware.
Orville was a “Renaissance man” with a wide variety of interests. Among other activities, he taught Spanish conversation classes at the Rehoboth Art League and was an active member of the Sussex Archaeological Society where he served as editor of the organization’s newsletter.
An artistic couple …
Orville Peets met both Ethel Canby and her friend Ethel P. Brown (Leach) in Paris in 1913 and taught them etching techniques. After returning to the United States, Canby and Peets were married on Sept. 23, 1914 shortly after the outbreak of World War I. Orville served in the U.S. Army after America entered the war in 1917. After the conflict, the couple moved back to France, exhibited in various salons and travelled to Portugal in the 1920s. Moving to the art colony of Woodstock, N.Y. around 1930, they became a vital part of the printmaking scene.
By the mid-1930s, Orville and Ethel had moved to the home they called Thorneby on Herring Creek near Millsboro, Del. Both exhibited their art work and volunteered at the Village Improvement Association in Rehoboth Beach. They were instrumental in the founding of the Rehoboth Art League with Louise C. Corkran and their old friend Ethel Leach. Each of them signed the Art League’s “Doors of Fame” at the dedication ceremonies on June 18, 1938, and each continued to exhibit their work and teach at the facility.
The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.
The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Archaeological Society of Delaware, is seeking informal, interdisciplinary presentations on the archaeology and cultures of the Delaware Valley which will be presented at the “Archaeological and Historical Symposium of the Colonial Delaware Valley” that will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., in New Castle, Del.
Now in its 10th year, the symposium is dedicated to building a regional-level dialog that can identify the uniqueness of the cultures that existed in the Delaware Valley during the period of European colonization. Persons interested in making a presentation at the symposium should submit an abstract no later than March 31, 2017.
Admission to the symposium is free and open to the public. To submit an abstract or to make a reservation to attend the symposium, contact Craig Lukezic at email@example.com or call 302-736-7407.
Historic preservationists from across the country will meet in Washington, D.C. from March 14 to 16, 2017 for National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week, an annual gathering that promotes sound federal preservation policy and programs. Sponsored by Preservation Action and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, activities will include sessions on key preservation-related issues capped off by visits to Capitol Hill for meetings with members of Congress.