Read House and Gardens

42 The Strand, New Castle, DE 19720 - United States




On the New Castle riverfront, in the heart of the old city, the twenty-two room, 14,000-square-foot National Historic Landmark Read House dominates the streetscape with a monumental simplicity and distinctive Philadelphia architectural style. Designed for George Read II, son of a Delaware signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the house combined innovative Federal period design and advanced technological systems to create comfort and refinement.

Outside formal gardens installed in 1848 provided enjoyment for the late nineteenth and early twentieth century residents and continue to delight visitors today. Beneath the soil the layerd history of Delaware’s earliest inhabitants and settlers survives. Their story unfolds through ongoing archaeology on the property.


In 1975 the Delaware Historical Society accepted stewardship of the Read House and Gardens historic site. The site comprises a Federal period mansion on the Delaware River surrounded by over two acres of green space in Delaware’s colonial and first state capital, New Castle. The Delaware Historical Society began intensive research to understand and interpret the history of the house, landscape, and the inhabitants and events that impacted each. That research, paired with architectural investigation of the house, directed the restoration and interpretation of the structure.


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