The Quaker Hill Historic Preservation Foundation is an organization dedicated to preserving, restoring and promoting the history, social life and architecture of the Quaker Hill area, using a multi-faceted outreach effort. Click here to see Quaker Hill's contact and tour information.

Quaker Hill was first settled in 1738 by William Shipley. In 1739, the Shipleys and other Quakers attracted to the area built the first Wilmington Friends Meeting House.  By 1748, a new one had to be constructed to accommodate the increased population; the original meeting house became the first Friends School. A third meeting house (pictured at left) was built in 1816 and remains today as a place of worship and an active community center.


Wilmington Friends Meeting c.1816




St. Peter's Church c.1809

The 19th century saw much change in the small community, including the settlement of many people of many faiths and backgrounds. In 1816, Roman Catholics founded St. Peter's Church (pictured at right), now the cathedral church of Wilmington.

As Wilmington became an industrial city, factories grew up along the Christina River, and workers and owners alike chose to live nearby in Quaker Hill. As the Hill boomed, many of the 18th-century structures were replaced. The streetscapes were among the most varied in the City, with both traditional brick rowhouses and neo-Gothic detached homes.

Today, the neighborhood still retains a diverse architectural character, in part due to the 1978 designation of Quaker Hill as a National Register Historic District.  Recent renovation and restoration of remaining structures, coupled with the construction of new housing, give definite signs of a revitalization of Quaker Hill.

Historic View, 2nd & Shipley Streets



The church pictured here on the left was built in 1868 by several small neighborhood businessmen, including Cyrus Stern. Originally known as the Union United Methodist Church, it later became the Tabernacle Baptist Church.

In the late 19th-century, Quaker Hill became a more working-class neighborhood, but several prominent citizens, including the mayor, still lived there. The 20th century saw the area decline. Newer parts of the city, and later the suburbs, attracted many residents from the area. The housing stock deteriorated and, in the 1970s, urban renewal efforts cleared the land south of 4th Street, removing the remaining 18th-century structures.

Today, the neighborhood still retains a diverse architectural character, in part due to the 1978 designation of Quaker Hill as a National Register Historic District.  Recent renovation and restoration of remaining structures, coupled with the construction of new housing, give definite signs of a revitalization of Quaker Hill.

tabernacle gospel baptist church
Tabernacle Full Gospel
Baptist Church c.1866
harts

The HARTS Project is a Weed & Seed program that employs Historic preservation, Art, and community Service to connect urban youth to their neighborhoods in positive ways. The Quaker Hill Historic Preservation Foundation serves as the mentoring group for this hands-on Saturday program for boys and girls between the ages of nine and fourteen. Children learn to draw, make crafts, and take field trips to important historic places such as those pertinent on the Underground Railroad. Wilmington's program is funded by the Criminal Justice Council through the U.S. Attorney General's office along with the Female Benevolent Society (Quaker), The Kiwanis Club of Wilmington and the Delaware Foundation for Architecture.

For additional information about the program, please contact Sareana Engelgau at (302) 658-9295.

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