Rockwood Can No Longer Function With Small Intimate Groups of Visitors
County Executive Tom Gordon says he’ll need to create programs in order to keep museum afloat.
(page 9 of 9)
“The Friends, they rightly say the county should support [Rockwood] because they have done a good job, and I don’t want to belittle it,” Gordon says. “I want them to be part of [Rockwood’s future].”
Gordon’s stance draws support from Delaware’s Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, who lives in nearby Brandywine Hills. Museums focusing on the mid-19th century “are just not rare enough. You need more than that to bring people to the site,” he says. “But the park is a great asset to northern Delaware, and it can be better utilized.”
But for the Friends, 2014 could well be the year its obituary is written. Its board has stopped fundraising and recruiting new members. The group is deciding what to do with the $200,000 in its treasury. One idea is to donate it to the University of Delaware, whose library houses Rockwood archives.
“The money could pay to digitize the collection, restore the old photographs, perhaps provide a grant for an intern or graduate student,” says Judy Filipkowski, a former Friends president.
“We didn’t accomplish our final mission, which was the conservatory, but we made many friends, and we all are close,” says Zappa. “We’re going to miss Rockwood. It was the glue that held us together.”
(Disclosure: Larry Nagengast was a paid public relations consultant for the Friends of Rockwood for a brief time in 2009. He has had no connection to the group since.)