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Greenville & Hockessin Life

Yorklyn Village: From rust to revitalization

Nov 24, 2021 08:35AM ● By Tricia Hoadley
Photos by Jim Coarse
Text by Richard L. Gaw

The photographs you will see on the following pages are here as an invitation for you to dream.

They represent the last vestiges of a moment in the history of Yorklyn Valley – the crumbling memory of a once bustling company known as the National Vulcanized Fibre Corporation (NVF) – that is piece by piece, dream by dream and design by design being reimagined.

Where there is the faded memory, we ask that you see outdoor concerts. Where there is rust, we ask that you see shops and restaurants. Rather than define these photos as the residue of neglect, we encourage you to believe that someday you and your family will get to navigate your way on trails that will circumvent through a new village and connect to the Marshall Steam Museum, the Auburn Heights Preserve and the Red Clay Creek.

Through a partnership of private developers, area organizations, and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the development of the Auburn Valley Master Plan is revitalizing the long-shuttered manufacturing plant along Yorklyn Road into a bustling town community that takes the bones and history of the past and melds it with a vibrant place for environmentally-conscious growth and cultural enrichment.

“This recreational space and redevelopment plan will create a destination for Delaware unlike any other in the country,” said former DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “With the beautiful, historic setting of Yorklyn as a backdrop, we believe the synergy created by the master plan, that includes a trail, an antique car loop, and railroad will make this a uniquely Delaware destination.”

The photographs represent a chapter marker – a single moment in time – that will yield their rust and neglect to a sparkling and brilliant future for Yorklyn – one that will also honor its past.

To learn more about the Yorklyn Village restoration and redevelopment, visit

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