CHAPTER 198

CREATING THE NEW CASTLE HISTORIC

BUILDINGS COMMISSION

AN ACT CREATING THE NEW CASTLE HISTORIC BUILDINGS COMMISSION, DEFINING ITS DUTIES AND POWERS; APPROPRIATIONS.

WHEREAS, the people of Delaware have a justifiable pride in the history and traditions of their State and, in order to perpetuate such pride, it is desirable that the public buildings and monuments connected intimately with the history, traditions and life of the people of Delaware should be preserved, restored and maintained ; and

WHEREAS, the old State or Court House situated on the Public Green in the City of New Castle was the meeting place for the General Assembly of the Counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex on the Delaware long prior to the Declaration of Independence, and long prior to the existence of Delaware as an independent State, and was also the meeting place for the courts of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County from the first settlement of the State until the year 1879 ; and

WHEREAS, the said State or Court House is the oldest public building in the State of Delaware and one of the oldest public buildings in America ; and

WHEREAS, it is desirable to restore and maintain in a restored state the said Court House building as a monument to the past history of the State of Delaware and as an inspiration for future generations of citizens of the State of Delaware ; and

WHEREAS, by an Act of the General Assembly of the Counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex on the Delaware, dated June 13, 1772, it was enacted that title to the State House and other public buildings with the land and premises upon which they are erected be vested in Trustees ; and

WHEREAS, by divers conveyances of the survivors of the Trustees named in said Act of Assembly and their successors, the title to said lands and premises eventually vested in George Gray and John H. Rodney as Surviving Trustees, who, by Act of the General Assembly approved March 31, 1913, were directed to execute a deed conveying title to said lands and premises to Trustees elected under the provisions of Volume 24, Laws of Delaware, Chapter 191; and

WHEREAS, by said deed and by said Act of Assembly, the Trustees of Market Square were vested with title to all the land and buildings erected on the Market Square in the City of New Castle; and

WHEREAS, the title and management of the State or Court House has thereafter continued to reside in the Trustees elected biennially by the qualified voters of the City of New Castle under the name and style of "The Trustees of Market Square" ; sand

WHEREAS, Historic New Castle, Inc., a non-profit corporation of the State of Delaware, at its own expense or from funds donated to it, has caused to be made historical research and an architectural survey of the Court House building to ascertain the historical development, original construction and alterations of the State or Court House; and

WHEREAS, detailed drawings, plans and specifications for the restoration of the State or Court House have been prepared by the architects employed by Historic New Castle, Inc., all of which have been submitted to or offered for the consideration of the General Assembly of the State of Delaware ; and

WHEREAS, it is the considered opinion of the General Assembly of the State of Delaware that a restoration of the State or Court House should be accomplished either in accordance with said plans and specifications or in such other manner as shall be deemed proper; and

WHEREAS, it is considered desirable that title to the State or Court House and other public buildings on the Market Square and the land upon which they are erected be vested in a Corn-

mission of the State of Delaware with the power and authority to manage and maintain them as historic monuments of the State of Delaware; NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (three-fourths of all the Members elected to each House concurring therein) :

Section 1. There is hereby created The New Castle Historic Buildings Commission which shall have perpetual succession and existence as a body corporate and politic.

Section 2. The New Castle Historic Buildings Commission shall have all the powers conferred by law upon non-profit corporations organized under the General Corporation Law.

Section 3. The New Castle Historic Buildings Commission shall consist of eleven Commissioners. Five of said Commissioners shall be elected at the biennial municipal elections of the City of New Castle by the qualified voters thereof in the man-. ner heretofore recognized by the provisions of Chapter 191, Vol. 24, Laws of Delaware. The presently serving constituted Trustees of the old State House and Court House and of the Market Square are hereby designated as the five Commissioners to be elected by the qualified voters of the City of New Castle. They shall serve as such Commissioners for a period equal to the unexpired portion of their terms of office as such Trustees and, thereafter, as their terms expire their successors shall be elected, as aforesaid, for the full term of ten years at the biennial municipal elections of the City of New Castle.

Six of said Commissioners shall be appointed by the Governor. The Commissioners so appointed shall be, during their terms of office, citizens of the State of Delaware, and one shall be a resident of Kent County, one a resident of Sussex County, and one a resident of New Castle County. Those Commissioners who are to be resident members of the respective counties shall be so designated by the Governor in their appointment. Three of the said Commissioners shall be appointed at-large from the State of Delaware, one of whom shall be appointed every four years. The terms of office of the first appointees as members of said Commission shall be from the first day of July, 1955, as follows:

The member resident in New Castle County, two years, the member resident in Kent County, four years, the member resident in Sussex County, six years, the two members at-large for Delaware, eight years and ten years respectively. After the expiration of the terms of office aforesaid, the Governor shall appoint the five said members of the Commission for the full term of ten years.

One member of the Commission shall be appointed at-large by the Governor for four years, and after the expiration of his term shall be appointed every four years.

Any vacancy occurring among the Commissioners elected by the qualified voters of New Castle for any reason, except for expiration of term, shall be filled by the remaining Commissioners from citizens of New Castle until the next biennial election in New Castle when vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the term as the case may be. In case of a vacancy occurring among the Commissioners appointed by the Governor for any reason, except for expiration of term, the Governor shall fill such vacancy for the unexpired term.

The said Commissioners shall not be entitled to receive any compensation for their services as such Commissioners.

Section 4. The Commission shall have, in addition to the general powers conferred upon it by Section 2 of this Act, the following specific powers and authority:

(a) To adopt by-laws providing for the control and management of the affairs of the Commission;

(b) To elect from the members of the Commission a President, Vice-President and to elect a Secretary and Treasurer who need not be members of the Commission, and to prescribe their duties;

(a) To establish such committee or committees, including an executive committee, which to the extent provided in the resolution or resolutions establishing said committees, shall

have and exercise the powers of the Commission, including the power to authorize the seal of the Commission to be affixed to all papers which may require it.

Section 5. There shall be at least one stated meeting of the Commission each year, at such place and time as may be fixed by the by-laws, and special meetings may be held at the call of the President, or the Executive Committee, upon such notice as shall be required by the by-laws.

Section 6. Six Commissioners shall constitute a quorum of the Commission to do business. The affirmative majority of the votes of all the Commissioners present at any meeting of the Commission shall be sufficient for the transaction of the * business of the Commission, or the exercise of any of its powers.

Section 7. The Commission, in addition to all powers conferred by law upon public corporations, shall have the following specific powers and authority:

(a) To exercise all those powers, so far as may be practicable, conferred upon private corporations by the General Corporation Law;

(b) To take and hold real and personal estate by deed, devise, bequest, gift, grant or otherwise, and to alien, lease, sell, transfer and dispose of the same as occasion may require;

(c) To invest and reinvest in property, funds or securities for the benefit of the Commission any funds, securities or proceeds of sale received by the Commission, without regard to the technical rules governing the investment of trust funds by Trustees ;

(d) To appoint such officers and agents as the business of the Commission shall require and to allow them suitable compensation;

(e) To take and hold by grant from the State of Delaware real and personal estate upon such terms, conditions, and limitations as may be expressed in such grant ;

(f) To cooperate with, and to solicit and accept aid from any organization, public or private, interested in the preservation and restoration of historic buildings and monuments ;

(g) To maintain a bank account or bank accounts at any banking institution located within the State of Delaware, and to make deposits in and withdrawals from the same;

(h) To accept from the Treasurer of the State of Delaware all moneys from appropriations made by the General Assembly to the Commission, to deposit the same in the Commission's bank account or accounts, and to expend them for the business of the Commission and for the purposes named in said appropriation ;

() To retain, invest or expend for the benefit of the Commission all income, rents, or profits derived from property, estates, gifts or investments.

Section 8. All accounts of the Commission, or any of its officers, agents or employees, shall be audited by the Auditor of Accounts in the same manner as the accounts of other state agencies.

Section 9. The said Commissioners shall have charge of and are hereby vested with all those three certain tracts or parcels of land with the buildings thereon erected, bounded and described in the Act of June 13, 1772, being Chapter CCXII of Volume 1 Laws of Delaware, in the Preamble to said Act and in Sections 2 and 5 thereof, and also set out in the Act of March 31, 1913, being Chapter 219, Volume 27, Laws of Delaware, subject to the terms of outstanding leases heretofore made by proper authority. All the said land with the immunities, improvements, advantages, hereditaments and appurtenances, and the remainder and reversion thereof shall from and after the passage of this Act be vested in the New Castle Historic Buildings Commission, for the uses and purposes expressed and declared in this Act.

Section 10. To bring about the restoration of the old State and Court House by the Commission as hereinbefore provided, there is hereby appropriated out of the General Fund of the State not otherwise appropriated the sum of Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars to the New Castle Historic Buildings Commission. To insure the preservation and maintenance of the said buildings and grounds, there is hereby appropriated out of the General Fund of the State not otherwise appropriated to the New Castle Historic Buildings Commission the annual sum of Five Thousand Dollars for each year of the biennium ending July 1, 1957. The moneys hereby appropriated shall not revert to the State Treasury at the end of any fiscal year, but shall remain available to the New Castle Historic Buildings Commission for the accomplishment of the purposes herein stated.

Section 11. The Trustees of Market Square shall, after payment of all outstanding debts and obligations, transfer and deliver all remaining and unexpended cash on hand or on deposit, investments and other assets, to the New Castle Historic Buildings Commission for use in furtherance of the purposes of this Act. Said transfer shall be accomplished by the Trustees of Market Square upon demand of the New Castle Historic Buildings Commission after its organization.

Section 12. In so far as the same is inconsistent with the preceding Section 10 of this Act, Section 1 of Volume 24, Laws of Delaware, Chapter 191, is hereby amended.

Approved June 1, 1955.