New Castle Avenue and Rt. 9 Corridor Post-World War II Residential History Project
Beginning in January 2021, the Center for Historic Architecture and Design (CHAD) at the University of Delaware partnered with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) to develop a historic context for residential subdivisions along the New Castle Avenue/Route 9 corridor, south of the City of Wilmington, and a major route of the historic Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. The multi-phased project was designed to help understand the history related to settlement patterns in the area, specifically race-related settlement patterns and environmental justice concerns. CHAD researched each neighborhood in the study area, producing a background history and architectural analysis for each, and provided a national and local context for post-World War II suburbanization, specifically related to inequitable housing policies and options for Black Americans. Five pre-war neighborhoods (Eden Park Gardens, Hamilton Park, Holloway Terrace, and Buttonwood, as well as Route 9 adjacent Minquadale) were also researched and discussed within the context of this study.
This area of New Castle County has been overlooked by historic preservationists and has been the focus of little architectural survey, historical research, and few National Register nominations or even determinations of eligibility studies. Previous work undertaken in this area has focused on archaeology and recordation of threatened (and now demolished) eighteenth and nineteenth century dwellings associated with wealthier white people. In an effort to tell a more robust and inclusive story of the settlement of this portion of New Castle County, 13 oral histories were recorded in 2022 with 18 different long-time residents from various communities along the Route 9 corridor and were incorporated into a final report, “Development of Residential Subdivisions along the Route 9/New Castle Avenue Corridor, 1945-1970 +/-: A Historic and Architectural Context."
Please find links on this page to the full historic context reports, an immersive storymap of the research and accompanying photos and maps, links to oral interviews of long time residents with transcripts about the history of their neighborhoods and communities, and a printable booklet that summarizes this work.
Oral Interview Abstracts
- Buttonwood Abstract
- Castle Hills Abstract
- Dunleith Abstract with Edythe Pridgen
- Dunleith Abstract with John Ridgeway
- Holloway Terrace Abstract
- Oakmont Abstract
- Rizzo Ave Abstract
- Rose Hill Gardens Abstract with Brenda Timmon-Gunter
- Rose Hill Gardens with Crystal Taylor
- Rosegate Abstract with Allee Watson
- Rosegate Abstract with Bobby Benjamin
- Rosegate Abstract with Octavia Penny Dryen