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.
Breaking Ground on the Rodney Square Works Project
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, Council President Hanifa Shabazz, Delaware Governor John Carney, Rodney Square Conservancy Chair Samira (Sam) Aird and State Representative Stephanie T. Bolden broke ground September 9, 2019 for an approximately $7 million renovation of Wilmington’s main public square—Rodney Square—which was originally constructed in 1921. The City’s largest public square is suffering from deterioration because of deferred maintenance and needs a major aesthetic and infrastructure overhaul. This first phase of the park renovation project is expected to be completed early next year.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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
Fixed Bench Seating
New Tree Planting
Accessible & Level Terraces
Planting Along Sidewalk
Fixed and Flexible Seating
New Planting throughout Square
Existing Bus Shelter
Open to King Street
Plaza and Splash Fountain
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.
Whether you are a neighborhood resident or simply enjoy Rodney Square, the Conservancy needs everyone’s support to keep this historic landmark looking great. Please consider becoming a Supporter.