Old Town Hall

When Old Town Hall was built in 1798 it was one of the tallest buildings in Wilmington. For almost a century it functioned as both a center of political and social activities. Styled after Philadelphia’s Congress Hall, this handsome Federal-style structure served the city until 1916 hosting elections, town meetings, a subscription library, and criminal and civil trials. Lawbreakers feared its unheated and spartan basement cells.

Old Town Hall hosted receptions and dinners for notables such as the Marquis de Lafayette and President Andrew Jackson. The death of George Washington was observed in Old Town Hall in 1799 and Henry Clay’s body laid in state there in 1852. The Historical Society of Delaware (now the Delaware Historical Society) purchased the building in 1917 and completed its restoration by 1927.

Since its founding in 1864, the Delaware Historical Society (DHS) has acquired an extraordinary collection of more than 3 million objects, books, documents, photographs, and maps and nine historic buildings related to Delaware’s past and its importance to the nation. We are the only private nonprofit organization with the mission to serve as the statewide organization exploring, preserving, promoting, and sharing Delaware history, heritage, and culture to educate, inspire, and empower people and communities.

For more information on all of our locations, the most up-to-date hours, events, and programs, and to learn more about what we do, visit www.dehistory.org. Old Town Hall, The Delaware History Museum, and the Mitchell Center for African American Heritage are open Wednesday-Saturday, 12:00-5:00 PM.

Attractions Cities & Municipalities History & Culture Northern Delaware

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Old Town Hall
500 Block Market Street
Historical Society of Delaware
Wilmington, DE 19801

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