State unveils plan to rebuild Delaware City’s Ft. DuPont

Plans to turn the historic Fort DuPont into a destination for residents and recreation are moving forward as the state issues its master plan for the site.


The 325-acre complex was originally commissioned in 1899 to protect Wilmington, Philadelphia and the Delaware River from a naval attack. The site was decommissioned as a coastal defense base in 1922, just a few years after construction was completed in 1915. The facility has been used as a military training facility during World War II. Most recently, the site has been home to the Governor Bacon Health Center, a long term state run health care facility.

But as the Bacon center’s use has dwindled with the construction of some new health care facilities, the site has become underutilized and in need of a new direction. 

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

New direction

That new direction is detailed in the state’s master plan issued by the state Division of Parks and Recreation on Friday. The plan calls for building on the site’s status as a National Historic District with new cultural, natural and recreational amenities.

“Fort DuPont has played an important role in Delaware’s history, but the fort’s history is threatened as its historic structures deteriorate from neglect,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “By strategically breathing new life into the Fort DuPont complex, we will create a destination that connects with the majestic Delaware Bayshore, Ford Delaware, the Michael Castle C&D Canal Trail and the many exciting new projects now underway in Delaware City.”

The plan includes a new marina, senior housing, healthcare facilities, ecotourism, sports fields, and a corporate/educational campus.

You can find the full master plan on the state’s website at State planners are still accepting comments on the master plan at

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal