The Old State House

A colonial-style court house with red brick and a large bell tower

Built in 1791, the Old State House served as Delaware’s capitol during the United States’ critical early years as a nation. With additions and modifications, the building continued to serve as the state capitol until 1933.

The Old State House was the first permanent capitol building in Dover, Delaware. Begun in 1787 and completed by May 1791, this Georgian-style structure was originally home to both state and Kent County governments.

The first floor of the Old State House features an 18th century-style courtroom while the second floor features the former chambers of the state legislature. The House chamber contains notable portraits by Thomas Sully of Commodores Jacob Jones and Thomas Macdonough, heroes from the First State who served in the War of 1812. The Senate chamber houses an imposing portrait of George Washington painted by Denis A. Volozan.

Exhibits and Displays

A patterned graphic with text that reads, "The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976 to 2016"

Visitor Information


The museum is open to the public and admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

Hours of Operation

Sunday – Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday – Saturday: 10AM – 4PM

Call 302-744-5054 for more information.


Wednesday – Saturday: 10AM, 11AM, 1PM, 2PM, and 3PM for open guided tours.
*Large group tours must make reservations with the First State Heritage Park Reservation Line at (302) 739-9194.


Free, but limited, street parking is available in front of, and around, the State House.


The first floor of the State House is accessible to people with disabilities.


Phone: (302) 744-5054
Group tour reservations: (302) 739-9194

Museum Gallery

Frequently Asked Questions

No, guests may visit the museum anytime during normal hours of operation.

Tours are offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Tour lengths can vary but will last no more than forty-five minutes.

No, reservations for groups are only available over the phone at this time.

Restrooms are not available at the Old State House. Please use the facilities prior to your arrival.

Tours are guided by a historic-site interpreter with options for self-guiding in some areas of the building.

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