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Delaware History Center

Delaware History Center, operated by the Historical Society of Delaware (HSD), occupies Market Street Mall in Wilmington. The center is located near the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, First USA Riverfront Arts Center, and Wilmington train station. The center is equipped with such facilities as decorated playrooms for children's parties, large-group meeting rooms, exhibit galleries for evening receptions, and rooms for dance and lectures. It features historical sites, including the Delaware History Museum, Old Town Hall, Willingtown Square, and HSD's research library. Housed within a renovated art-deco Woolworth store, the museum consists of three galleries of changing, interactive exhibits on Delaware history. Grandma's Attic provides a hands-on history experience for children. Costumes, toys, regional decorative arts, and paintings are among the collectibles. The museum’s gift shop, graced by its nine-foot-tall folk-art statue of George Washington at the entrance, specializes in Delaware handcrafted items and souvenirs. Built in 1798, Old Town Hall is an elegant Federal-style structure that functioned as the center of political and social activities during Wilmington's mercantile-milling economic era. It once housed the city’s meeting chambers, offices and jail, and served as the headquarters of civic organizations. Presently the hall hosts exhibitions, programs, and special events throughout the year. Willingtown Square is named after Sir Thomas Willing, who laid out the city of Wilmington. It is a serene urban park flanked by four historic buildings dating from 1748 to the early 1800s: the Cook-Simms, Coxe, Jacobs, and the Jacob and Obidiah Dingee houses. Those structures have been listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The Research Library of HSD holds a diverse collection of books, ephemera, newspapers, serials, maps, manuscripts, and photographs related to the history of Delaware. An added attraction is the Atrium Gallery, which is located between the library reading room and the houses in Willingtown Square. It displays materials from the library collections.