African-American Heritage Center Coming to Wilmington - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

African-American Heritage Center Coming to Wilmington

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WILMINGTON, Del. - The Delaware Historical Society (DHS) celebrated its 150th anniversary Thursday by announcing a $6.6 million capital campaign to renovate the Old Town Hall and Delaware History Museum in Wilmington.

DHS CEO Scott Loehr highlighted the establishment of a Center for African-American Heritage among the improvements in store for the complex, thanks to the Sesquicentennial Campaign: Ensuring a Future for Delaware's Past.

At a press conference Thursday morning, he noted a lack of African-American history in the current museum; the new center seeks to change that.

Other changes will include the addition of a visual gallery to bring pieces of state history out of storage and onto display, updates to classrooms and the creation of educational programming, Loehr says.

According to Loehr, DHS has already raised $5.1 million in donations. That leaves $1.5 million, or a little less than a quarter of the target number, yet to be raised.

The entire project is expected to take about a year and a half.

“Both the Delaware History Museum and the Old Town Hall closed last month, and they will remain closed until the project is completed in March of 2016,” Loehr said. But, he emphasized, “the Historical Society is still in business!”

DHS was founded in 1864 as a “literary society to research and document the history of the first state,” its website states. “Today, the organization preserves, promotes, and shares Delaware's rich history and heritage.”

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