When Vince and Joyce Parker purchased their 1950s-era Dairy Queen franchise in 1970, they were concerned with preserving the building’s original appearance. This year, their preservation efforts have been recognized as the stand, now called Dairy Palace, has been placed to the National Register of Historic Places.
Dairy Palace retains the many of its original 1950s details. The one-story building has a glass-plate window wall facade, a flat roof with an overhang, and classic neon signage. These architectural features represent a distinct era of design, one of the reasons that Dairy Palace qualified for the register.
Dairy Palace also represents a significant pattern in American history- suburbanization. Roadside food stands emerged in the post-World War II era as Americans moved further from urban areas and travelled longer distances in their cars. Dairy Palace is one of the best preserved examples of a 1950s roadside stand in Delaware.
University of Delaware’s Center for Historic Architecture and Design prepared the National Register nomination for Dairy Palace. The nomination was recommended for listing by the New Castle County Historic Review Board and then sent to the State Review Board for Historic Preservation, which then forwarded it to the National Park Service to be listed on the National Register.
Dairy Palace continues to serve ice cream to New Castle residents today. The stand is open seasonally and will re-open in March of next year.