To Market, To Market

On view now until January 12 at the Delaware History Museum, “Full Circle: A History of Change on Market Street” shows Wilmington’s main commercial street as it has appeared from the 1830s until today. If you think it’s changed a lot recently, take a look at what happened over nearly 180 years.




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E.S.R. Butler, a local printer known today for his postcards, captured this view looking south from Ninth Street in 1915. On the right is the Equitable Building, the city’s first skyscraper. The second building on the left is the first WSFS building. Farther down on the left, a circular sign for the Garrick Theater blocks most of the Grand Opera House sign. HSD General Photograph Collection

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In October 1910, the state presented the Battleship Delaware a silver tea service. Among the festivities was a parade on Market. The viewing stands, shown here, were set up in front of Town Hall, which then housed the city’s offices. Snyder Collection

This view, taken in 1884, looks north from the 300 block of Market. Most of the buildings would have housed a store on the ground level and living quarters above. HSD General Photograph Collection





The DuPont Building, 11th and Market, circa 1910. The first section was built in 1907. It was followed by five more sections before it was completed in 1931. The earliest sections spanned Market Street from 10th to 11th. It later expanded over to Orange Street. HSD General Photograph Collection




This 60-foot-wide arch was constructed at Second and Market for the Grand Celebration of the Union Veterans 20th National Encampment in Wilmington, September 12-16, 1905. Buildings across the city were adorned with patriotic decorations for the event. Visible middle-right is a trolley approaching Market Street. Far center is the span over the Christina River. Snyder Collection





Officer Watson Mahan helps “Jake the Broom Man” cross at Fourth and Market in the 1920s. The Delaware Commission for the Blind made brooms at its headquarters nearby on West Eighth. For 50 years, Jake walked through downtown, selling the brooms to the public. HSD General Photograph Collection

Streamers and confetti fall as Delawareans celebrate Victory Europe Day, May 8, 1945. The photo was taken from the 12th floor of the Delaware Trust Building at Ninth and Market, looking toward the DuPont Building. HSD General Photograph Collection

The building on the left is First Presbyterian Church (built 1740), now on West Street on the Brandywine Creek. The church and cemetery were moved after the photo was taken in 1916. This is now the site of Residences of Rodney Square (to the right) and the Wilmington Institute Free Library (to the left). HSD General Photograph Collection

Wilmington Dry Goods in 1956, which stretched from 414 to 420 Market, was one of the prosperous stores in the city. Because of its character, and its bargains, it remains one of Wilmington’s favorite, if long-gone, shared memories. Sanborn Collection



A shipment of IBM computer equipment is received at the headquarters of Wilmington Trust Company in 1961. Lubitsh and Bungarz Collection




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