Preservation Delaware, Inc. is the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Delaware’s architectural heritage and historic settings through education, public policy initiatives and technical assistance.
Preservation Delaware sees a future in which dedicated members of the community can actively preserve and maintain historical landmarks from the dangers of development and decay with the responsible allocation of government resources.
PDI works hard to remain a presence in today’s economic atmosphere of high-cost development plans and sweeping demolitions of historic buildings. PDI has a seat at the table during the State Historic Preservation Office’s 5-year comprehensive plan, and advocates in favor of programs, legislation, and regulation changes that preserve our historic heritage sites.
Preservation Delaware, Inc (PDI) was founded in 1993 by a group of men and women dedicated to protecting the architectural and historical heritage of Delaware.
With an impassioned vision to restore and preserve local sites slated for demolition, the organization created a plan that included education programs, public outreach and legislative advocacy. Primary to the founders’ original vision was the establishment of a preservation revolving fund that would allow PDI to intervene to save threatened properties or to provide incentives for property owners to preserve them.
In the years since its founding, PDI has realized a number of accomplishments, which include sponsoring conferences and educational workshops, advocating to ensure the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program in 2001, and the reauthorization of the program for an additional ten years in 2010. Currently, Preservation Delaware is developing a series of programs for members of historic preservation commissions, as well as launching hands-on workshops designed to teach participants the “how-to’s” of rehabilitation and preservation projects such as weatherproofing, plumbing, and replacing and restoring windows.
In 1998-99, PDI rehabilitated the Gardens on the long abandoned Gibraltar Estate, restoring the immaculate beauty of the gardens. Designed and built by Marian C Coffin in the early 1900’s, the gardens were the first in a long line of high profile contracts in Coffin’s exceptional career in landscape architecture, a field dominated by men at the time. Once flourishing with ornamental statues and colorful plants from all over the world, the gardens were left to decay until PDI raised funds and began the arduous task of restoring its brilliance. Now PDI continues to maintain the garden, which is open to the public all year long, and provides an invaluable oasis of peace behind its high stone walls.