Willingtown Square is a collection of four historic buildings, dating from 1748 to
the early 1800s. In 1976 these buildings were moved to the 500 block of Market
Street from various sites throughout Wilmington to save them from demolition. The
four structures were built when mercantile and shipping activities were prevalent along the
Christina River and grain mills lined the banks of the Brandywine. Willingtown Square is
named after Thomas Willing, who in 1731 laid out the village that was to become the city
of Wilmington. The houses found in Willingtown Square have been placed on the National
Register of Historic Places
These buildings can be viewed from the outside, and the
Willingtown Square Gallery is open with changing exhibits (please enter
through the Library; only open during library hours), but the buildings themselves are not open to the
Thinking about hosting an out-door event? Call us at (302)
655-7161 for more information on renting the square for a unique
setting for your special affair.
The Cook-Simms House, 1778
William Cook built this house at 101 East Fourth Street
in what was then the heart of downtown Wilmington.
Dr. John Simms, who made and sold herbal medicines,
bought the house in 1840 to serve as his shop and residence. He
updated the building with large windows and an awning.
The building displays Flemish-bond brick with a belt
course between the first and second floors.
The Coxe Houses,
Thomas Coxe, who owned a brickyard, built these
houses in 1801 for his two daughters Margaret and Catherine. Built
like Philadelphia "trinity" or "Band Box" houses then
popular, each unit had only one room on each of its three floors.
Members of the Coxe family lived in these houses until 1957.
Like other buildings in the square, these houses consist
of Flemish bond brickwork,
a molded water table and two belt courses separating the stories.
The Jacobs House,
The Jacobs House is a two story brick structure with pent eaves.
Featuring Flemish bond brickwork with glazed headers and a molded water table, this house
was built for Job and Mary Jacobs in 1748 by Griffith Minshall. Mr. Minshall included the Jacobs initials
and the date of construction in the front wall of the house. The letters and dates are
arranged in the form of a puzzle.
Jacob and Obidiah
1771 and 1773
The Dingee brothers built their houses side by side. Jacob's,
1771, uses old-fashioned glazed headers on its Flemish bond bricks.
The brothers were cabinet makers and likely used the first floor as a work
shop, living upstairs.
Updated 2008 Delaware Historical
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