Carper, National Park Service Announce $5.4 million to Restore Sheriff’s House and Preserve Delaware’s Role in Shaping our Nation

This event kicks off National Park Week, April 16 – 24 

NEW CASTLE, Del. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined representatives from the National Park Service (NPS) to announce a $5.4 million award to rehabilitate the historic Sheriff’s House at First State National Historical Park. The Sheriff’s House is a contributing feature to the New Castle National Historic Landmark Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“I can’t think of a better way to kick of National Park Week than to announce the restoration of the Sheriff’s House, which will soon serve as a visitor’s center to Delaware’s national park,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper, who was instrumental in making First State National Historical Park a reality. “Once this restoration is complete, Delaware’s story in the founding of our country and the birthplace of our nation is one that visitors from all over the world will better enjoy when they visit the Sheriff’s House in New Castle.”

“Understanding and preserving Delaware landmarks like this keeps us connected to the rich history of the First State,” said Senator Coons. “I’m grateful to the National Park Service staff and volunteers who have been preserving this site and preparing the research needed for an investment like the one Senator Carper has secured. Restoring and opening the New Castle Sheriff’s House is the result of Senator Carper’s commitment to enable people to learn about our history by both seeing and experiencing it, and I’m excited to see its transformation.”

“Delaware’s significant role in the founding of our nation continues to be told through historical landmarks up and down the First State. It’s imperative that we preserve these spaces that guide us in understanding our past, our present, and our future,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “That’s why I’m excited about today’s announcement of a $5.4 million award that will help the National Park Service rehabilitate the historic Sheriff’s House at First State National Historic Park. Together, the State of Delaware, the New Castle Historical Society, and the National Park Service will safeguard this historic space in New Castle for years and generations to come.”

The restoration of the Sheriff’s House will transform the building to serve as the principal location for visitors to get an orientation to the park’s six sites, and to understand the themes that connect them. 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 NPS staff office space on the 2nd 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 mitigation measures will be implemented to limit the impact to visitors and staff.

The project is being funded through the NPS line-item construction program, and the NPS is coordinating with the State of Delaware and the New Castle Historical Society on the project. Construction has begun and is expected to last about 14 months.