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Polk-Henry House

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1839. 2nd and Washington sts.
  • (Linda Suskie)

In this big, three-story wooden house with corner pilasters one sees a Greek Revival approach relatively rare in Delaware, where few places truly boomed during that architectural era. The house's first inhabitant, Robert Polk, was also owner of Polktown, a community for free African Americans just outside of town. He soon sold the house to coal merchant James Henry. The abandoned place was nearly razed in 1999 for a fire station, but the town sold it five years later to a developer who planned to create a bed-and-breakfast and redevelop the rest of the spacious, grassy lot. The bank next door dates from 1849. A walk along Washington Street shows that scattered brick town houses were built on the wide nineteenth-century thorough-fare in expectation of an urban density that never occurred. One house has a porch supported by bundled, lotiform (lotus-shaped) colonnettes, rare in the state.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Polk-Henry House", [Delaware City, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 203-204.

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