The National Park Service awarded a $5.4 million construction contract to rehabilitate the historic Sheriff’s House at First State National Historical Park, New Castle.
The Sheriff’s House is part of the New Castle National Historic Landmark Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“We are looking forward to restoring this significant property. Serving as the welcome center for park visitors, the Sheriff’s House will interpret the nationally significant stories that shaped the nation’s first state through photos, exhibits, and audio-visual displays,” said Dan Dilworth, acting superintendent, First State National Historical Park.
The restoration of the Sheriff’s House will transform the building to serve as the principal location for visitors getting an orientation on the park’s six sites and to understand the themes that connect the half-dozen areas around the state that are part of the park.
Visitors are then encouraged to get a more in-depth, place-based visitor experience at the partner sites throughout the state.
In addition, the rehabilitation will provide Park Service staff office space on the second floor. The construction project includes exterior accessibility improvements, utility improvements, exterior stone repair and repointing, interior restoration and replacement work, and exhibit fabrication and installation.
Because the Sheriff’s House is located between the New Castle Court House Museum and the New Castle Arsenal, popular visitor destinations, construction will be limited to the area immediately adjacent to the Sheriff’s House, and measures will be implemented to limit the impact to visitors and staff, a release stated.
The project is being funded through the National Park Service line-item construction program. NPS coordinates with the State of Delaware and the New Castle Historical Society on the project. Construction is targeted to begin in the new year and is expected to last about 14 months.
The park is unique since it starts with protected open space on Delaware’s northern edge, extending into Pennsylvania. It also includes historical sites in Wilmington, old New Castle, and Kent Counties.
The park has drawn visitors to Delaware, which had no national parks or monuments.