“By strategically breathing new life into the Fort DuPont complex, we can create a destination that connects with the majestic Delaware Bayshore, Fort Delaware State Park, the Michael Castle C&D Canal Trail, and the many exciting new projects now under way in Delaware City.”
-Former Governor Markell
A Rare Opportunity at Fort DuPont
Lay out a compact new community. Link it to tree-lined streets of Delaware City. Keep the small-town atmosphere. Adapt historic buildings, some a century old. What emerges is a unique mixed-use community on the majestic Delaware Bay.
When Delaware City was planned in 1828 the promoters pictured a place as large as Wilmington or Philadelphia. Their plat shows a grid of streets on both sides of the original canal, which ran from southwest to northeast and entered the river at Newbold’s Landing. The canal was busy, and as time went on the city too was busy. It never became the coal port its backers hoped for. Eventually, the canal became the town boundary. On the southern side for another 70 years, there were farms and orchards.
About Fort DuPont
The Branch Canal still follows the original route, but instead of a city on its south bank, in time the land became a military base. Fort DuPont was built on a farm that Clement Reeves sold to the government. It was commissioned in 1898 as part of the nation’s coastal defense system. In 1947 it was turned over to the state.
Today, nearly 200 years later, historic Fort DuPont is poised to be transformed into a model “live-work-learn-play and visit” community with connections to local and regional recreation. Part of the original fort is now a state park. The fort’s historic buildings, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be rehabilitated and reused. Vacant land is ready for new development opportunities and the vibrant mixed-use community envisioned in the master plan will reinforce Delaware City as a regional destination.