2011: Focus on Lower Market Street

Queen Theater, ca. 1938
Queen Theater, ca. 1938

This year, the Delaware History Museum’s neighbor, the Queen Theater, came back to life as World Café Live at the Queen, a restaurant and performing arts venue.  In honor of this, the exhibition for the year was “Steppin’ Out…Under the Stars,” an exploration of how Delawareans have enjoyed a night out on the town over the years.

The Delaware Historical Society has a keen interest in the well being of downtown Wilmington, especially Market Street.  For many years, the Queen was derelict and Market Street below Fifth was pretty seedy, conditions that were challenging for the Society. Plans and projects for the area came and went, with little change.  Finally, after considerable development at the Riverfront, revitalization of lower Market Street (LOMA) began a few years ago.  From Fifth Street down, buildings have been renovated with apartments on the upper floors and retail or offices below. There are now several good restaurants on Lower Market Street.  And, the Queen Theater became a jewel that has joined the Society as a highlight of the 500 block.

Downtown Wilmington has had various incarnations over nearly 300 years, and the Delaware Historical Society has been part of it throughout its history.  We hope that the current improvements in the neighborhood lead to a prosperous future for everyone!

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