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Brandywine Academy

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1798. c. 1820 cupola, Benjamin Ferris. 5 Vandever Ave.
  • (Damie Stillman)
  • (Damie Stillman)

Money for this blue-rock schoolhouse was donated by residents of Brandywine Hundred. The first neighborhood institution in Brandywine Village, it served many purposes, and all religious denominations except Catholic were allowed to meet here—even Millerites, who anticipated the end of the world in 1843. Ferris's design drawing for the “steeple house or Bellfry” survives (at Winterthur) and evidently copies that of Old Swedes Church (WL3), which he sketched at about the same time. The Academy served as a school until 1870 and a branch library from 1915 to 1943. When HABS was established in Delaware in January 1934, this was one of the first four buildings surveyed. The city gave the building to Old Brandywine Village, Inc., in 1963, which restored it and, for a time, re-created a schoolroom inside. In 2001, it was refurbished as headquarters for AIA Delaware.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Brandywine Academy", [Wilmington, 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, 121-122.

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