The purpose of this research is to assess the historic context, significance, and integrity of the 70-year old Hoopes Reservoir near Wilmington, Delaware. The City of Wilmington built the 135 feet-high dam for the reservoir in 1932 during the Great Depression to provide a reserve water supply for the City's expanding population. Hoopes Reservoir functions as Delaware's largest water storage reservoir. The engineering design incorporates a concrete gravity dam structure which is unique in the State and is by far the highest dam in Delaware. The designers incorporated architectural elements such as trails, monuments, and park benches for recreation as part of the surrounding Valley Garden Park system. Given the dam is over 50 years and is a unique engineering structure in the State of Delaware, we will determine whether Hoopes Reservoir would be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places based on its historic context, significance and integrity.
By: Gerald J. Kauffman, University of Delaware