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1844. 1915 enlarged, DeArmond, Ashmead and Bickley. 1927 enlarged, Albert Ely Ives. Pennsylvania and Greenhill aves.
  • Solarium (Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs, Dover, Del.)

Wilmington cotton merchant and agriculturist John R. Brinckle owned an extensive farm here and landscaped the grounds elaborately. His boxy, three-story dwelling with low hipped roof is austerely plain, of squared stone blocks. The name “Gibraltar” is derived from the Mediterranean promontory of Gibraltar in reference to the house's perch on a rocky ledge. H. Rodney Sharp purchased the house in September 1909, although it was “quite desolate”; he had fallen in love with the “marvelous staircase.” Wilmington's quarries provided convenient stone for expansion, and Sharp tripled the size of the house. He died in 1968, and by the mid-1990s it seemed that rundown Gibraltar would be demolished. Preservation Delaware took over, hoping to find an adaptive reuse for the building. In the meantime, deterioration sadly continued.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Gibraltar", [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, 144-145.

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