In January 1992, the Historical Society of Delaware expanded its physical size with the purchase of the old Woolworth’s building at 504 Market Street. The F.W. Woolworth Company originally erected the 48,000 square-foot-building in 1940. At the time, it was the third largest Woolworth dime store in America. The building now joined the Research Library, Old Town Hall, and the Willingtown Square houses to form the historical society’s Wilmington campus.
The Woolworth property more than doubled the current exhibit, program, and storage space, a much-needed relief for the growing organization. In 1991, the Society reported that it served more than 100,000, 30,000 of whom visited the Wilmington campus. For the following year, the organization planned to sponsor more than ninety-five programs for adults, ranging from a sneak peak of a PBS film shot on location in Delaware to a series of preservation workshops offered throughout the state. The Society found that the open interiors of the Woolworth building were well-adapted to these needs. Plans for the new space involved permanent and rotating exhibits on the first floor, programming and classroom space on the second floor, and collections space on the third floor and basement.