Help us envision a landscape for the next generation
About this Project
A National Historic Landmark located in Old New Castle, Delaware, the George Read II House & Gardens has long served as a destination for history, culture, and community. It has been owned and operated by the Delaware Historical Society since 1975.
We now have an opportunity to re-envision the Read House landscape for the next generation. Like the work of its last private owners a century ago, this process is rooted in the past while being oriented around a wider community of the present. The approach to revivifying these 2.5 acres of grounds includes a series of community engagement meetings and a planning study designed to:
- Engage with the multi-layered history of the Read House & Gardens site
- Foster ecological resilience
- Promote accessibility
- Create and nurture lasting community relationships
- Ensure a landscape that can be effectively maintained over time
Building on the existing programming of the Read House & Gardens, this community dialogue is meant to help us design a landscape in which visitors and neighbors alike can see themselves.
We’re taking a holistic approach to the design process, providing opportunities to investigate the many histories enmeshed within this property, including those that may have been overlooked previously. Through repeat engagements and active-listening exercises with a broad range of stakeholders, we hope to engage the wisdom of a multitude of voices and perspectives. This includes New Castle neighbors, partners at the University of Delaware and the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, stakeholders of the Society’s Mitchell Center for African American Heritage, and many others.
DAVID RUBIN Land Collective, an award-winning landscape architecture firm based in Philadelphia and Indianapolis, is our partner in this planning initiative, which is made possible by a generous grant from the State of Delaware.
Our goal is for the Read House & Gardens to resonate in the hearts and minds of every community it serves. With this plan, we hope to create space for reflection, healing, and joy, welcoming all to contribute to this richly historic landscape that extends from the Delaware River to the New Castle Green.
Below are the upcoming meetings and events that we'll be holding to gather feedback and learn from the community.
Write a letter to the Read House & Gardens!
Tell us what you think! Write a love letter (or break-up note) to the Read House & Gardens.
Tell us what's important to you.
Tell us about your priorities for the Read House & Gardens.