Sheriff's House Rehabilitation and Use Plan
The National Park Service (NPS) has prepared a rehabilitation and use plan for the Sheriff's House at First State National Historical Park. The purpose of the plan is to determine appropriate uses for the Sheriff's House and rehabilitate the structure to support those uses. Action is needed at this time to address outstanding maintenance issues and provide for the long-term preservation of the Sheriff's House. A sustainable plan is needed that is economically feasible, conforms to applicable laws and NPS policies, and be implemented with available federal administrative instruments. The plan includes alternatives and their associated impacts to park resources and visitor experience.
The plan is now available for public review. We encouraged you to submit comments through this website by clicking on the "Open for Comment" link on the left side of this page, select the document title, then click "Comment Now" button. You may also mail your written comments to Superintendent Ethan McKinley; First State National Historical Park; 211 Delaware Street; New Castle, DE 19720. The comment period ends March 31, 2017.
The NPS will hold a public meeting to review the plan, answer questions, and discuss next steps on March 8, 2017 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM in the New Castle Court House. Please click on "Meeting Notices" on the left side of this page for more information.
As vital contributors to the planning process, we hope you take the opportunity to provide feedback, and if possible, join us at the public meeting. Thank you.
Sheriff's House Background Information:
Built in 1857, the Sheriff's House historically served as both the home of the sheriff and as the administrative site for the attached prison which, together with the adjoining New Castle Court House, served as the center of New Castle County's justice system. This structure is all that remains of the first county prison in Delaware.
The building ceased functioning as a prison in 1901 though it continued to function as a temporary lock‐up at various times for decades afterward. Subsequently used as office space, a social club, and police station, the building was vacated nearly twenty years ago. Today it houses the central heating and chilling plant serving the New Castle Courthouse next door. The Sheriff's House was donated to the NPS by the State of Delaware in 2013.
For more detailed information about the Sheriff's House, please find the historic structure report by clicking on the "Document List" link to the left.