“Wilmington: Preservation and Progress” by Eugene N. Castellano is the first modern history of Wilmington’s business district, taking the reader on an architectural walking tour of Wilmington and marking its evolution from 1984 through the early years of the 21st century. During the '80s, Wilmington was bursting with optimism and anxious to reinvent itself from a 19th century manufacturing city into a 20th century financial center.
Armed with progressive new legislation designed to make Delaware more attractive to credit card banks, scores of public officials, businessmen and developers eagerly sought to transform the city. Their efforts met many challenges and setbacks, but eventually progress was achieved. Although many of the buildings from that era met the wrecking ball and were replaced with modern office towers, others survived with tasteful preservation.
This book is a beautiful “then and now” publication featuring black-and-white images from the past paired with color images of the present. Carefully researched vignettes about each location make it an addition to a Delaware history collection and a nostalgic conversation piece for friends and family.
"Wilmington: Preservation and Progress" is the latest addition to the extensive line of local history books published by Cedar Tree Books (www.cedartreebooks.com). It is available now in hardcover for $35. Browseabout Books is the only Sussex County retail location for the book.
Castellano graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Villanova University and an MA from the University of Delaware. He also holds a certification in museum studies. His professional career included positions in product development, finance and leadership with the DuPont Company and W. L. Gore and Associates Inc. In 2008, when Gore celebrated its 50th anniversary, he led the creation of the company’s history archive.
An avid historian of Delaware, Castellano served as a former trustee of the Delaware Historical Society, where he chaired the Buildings and Grounds Committee. Because of this position, he gained a special appreciation for some of Delaware’s most historically significant structures. Castellano has also authored a number of papers and given lectures on the early mineral springs resort at Brandywine Springs, the start of American tourism, and the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.
After receiving his first camera in the fifth grade, Castellano has been a photographer ever since. He and his wife, Jane, live in Wilmington. For more information go to www.GeneCastellano.com.