Dairy Palace now on Register of Historic Places

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Parker’s Dairy Palace. Photo courtesy of the University of Delaware Center for Historic Architecture and Design.

New Castle’s Dairy Palace has been listed in theNational Register of Historic Places.

Located on Route 141 across from the New Castle Airport, Dairy Palace was originally built in 1954 as a Dairy Queen franchise.

The business operates on a seasonal basis and recently closed for the year.

In 1956, the business was acquired by Vince and Joyce Parker and has remained a family enterprise ever since, according to a blog entry from the state Division Historical and Cultural Affairs.

After learning that Dairy Queen officials wanted to modernize the existing building,, the Parkers chose to purchase their franchised property in 1970 with an eye toward preserving its original appearance.

The Dairy Palace retains the Dairy Queen enterprise’s original characteristics including a one-story building with a façade characterized by a large plate-glass window wall, a flat roof featuring overhanging eaves, and landmark neon sign featuring a tilted ice cream cone with a swirl on top.

After cutting ties with Dairy Queen, the Parkers replaced the word “Queen” with the word “Palace” on the building’s signature sign.

According to the state division, the history of the Dairy Palace reflects the path of suburban development in America and the emerging popularity of roadside food stands.

Parker’s Dairy Palace is the best-known surviving example of a 1950s drive-in/walk-up soft serve ice cream stand remaining in New Castle County, the blog noted.

Parker’s Dairy Palace National Register nomination, listed on Oct. 15 was prepared by the University of Delaware’sCenter for Historic Architecture and Design.

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