makeover of Freedom Plaza and construction of a new entrance to
and lobby in the Redding Building are nearly finished.
The plaza, in the 800 block of
French Street in downtown Wilmington, is between the building,
which houses Wilmington city and New Castle County government
offices, and the Carvel state government office building. It
actually is the roof of a parking garage operated by the
Wilmington Parking Authority.
Rebuilding the plaza, at a cost of
about $4 million, came about because if leaks in the roof, which
were threatening the structural soundness of the building. The
state put up half of the cost and the city and county shared the
The related work at the
jointly-owned Redding Building was a $1 million project, of
which 55% was financed by county government and 45% by the city.
All of the money was authorized in
the respective capital budgets and financed by the sale of
A yet-to-be-completed feature of the
Redding lobby will be a display commemorating the life and
achievements of the man for whom the building is named. Louis
Redding was the first black lawyer admitted to practice in
Delaware -- during the 1920s. In the late 1940s and early 1950s
he was lead attorney in Court of Chancery suits which resulted
in racial integration of the University of Delaware and Delaware
public schools. The latter case was one of five ultimately
decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in the
landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case 50 yers ago.
Centerpiece of the display will be a
life-size sculpture depicting Redding and two school children,
which was executed by artist Charles Parks and previously stood
outside the building.
Here is a brief Delaforum photo
Building, which has housed Wilmington and New Castle
County government offices since 1976, has a new
entranceway (above). It comes complete with an automated
revolving door which connects to the new lobby