Background

Rodney Square Works is a multi-phased public-private project led by the Rodney Square Conservancy (RSC) that involves a $6 to $8 million dollar renovation of Wilmington’s iconic public space in the heart of the city. Originally constructed in 1921, the Square has suffered from deferred maintenance in recent years and needs a major aesthetic and infrastructure overhaul. Phase One will cost an estimated $4 million and is expected to be completed in early 2020.

RSC retained the services of two landscape architectural firms – Robinson, Anderson, Summers, Inc and OLIN – to conduct feasibility studies and develop design options and construction cost estimates. In the Fall of 2017 RSC developed a public process to set the goals, vision and path forward for Rodney Square. The group had two public workshops at the Wilmington Library that were led by the design team. The first workshop started with a visioning session where information was gathered, and images were shared. The second workshop showed concept plan options that incorporated the information gathered at the first workshop. The attendees gave feedback on the concept options which led to the design that is being documented for construction.

Public funding for Rodney Square Works comes from the City of Wilmington and the State of Delaware. Major area companies, organizations and individuals have also committed financial support.

“It’s time to restore this grand public square to not only its original glory, but to go beyond that vision to one that will improve the square and allow its upkeep to be more manageable while making the square itself more beautiful, attractive and useful.”

Mike Purzycki, Wilmington Mayor

“This is an exciting opportunity to restore the Square to its historic role as a centerpiece of downtown Wilmington; as first constructed in the 1920s.”

John Sisson, CEO of Delaware Transit Corporation

“Across Wilmington, we’re making investments in neighborhoods, in city schools, and critical infrastructure to help make sure that all Wilmington residents see and feel the benefits of Wilmington’s success.”

Gov. John Carney

Scope

Major features of the project include new masonry and paving, improved irrigation systems, upgraded lights and electrical system, new lighted fountains, planters, benches and tables, trash and recycling collection bins, as well as new trees, shrubs, and green areas. Improved accessibility throughout the square is a primary goal of the renovation project. As such, the new square will accommodate a wider range of smaller community-based activities in addition to the more traditional larger events already staged there.

Existing Bus Shelter

x
Existing Bus Shelter

Fixed Bench Seating

x
Fixed Bench Seating

New Tree Planting

x
New Tree Planting

Accessible & Level Terraces

x
Accessible & Level Terraces

Restored Fountains

x
Restored Fountains

Overlooking Terraces

x
Overlooking Terraces

Planting Along Sidewalk

x
Planting Along Sidewalk

Fixed and Flexible Seating

x
Fixed and Flexible Seating

New Planting throughout Square

x
New Planting throughout Square

Existing Bus Shelter

x
Existing Bus Shelter

Open to King Street

x
Open to King Street

Plaza and Splash Fountain

x
Plaza and Splash Fountain

Project Team

Olin is dedicated to affecting positive change through landscape architecture, urban design and planning.

Robinson Anderson Summers, Inc (RAS) is an award-winning landscape architectural design firm based in Wilmington, Delaware.

Ernest DiSabatino and Sons, Inc. (EDiS) is a construction management organization, which provides high-quality expertise to clients in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.