Smyrna Downtown Renaisssance Association
WHAT WE DO
The Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association promotes the revitalization of Smyrna, Delaware’s Historic downtown in many ways. The Association advocates for local small businesses, sponsors downtown events, provides incentive grants to both homeowners and businesses, and partners with other organizations and agencies to preserve and enhance historic Smyrna, Delaware.
Affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) volunteer membership organization incorporated in the state of Delaware. The Association is dedicated to the preservation, revitalization and beautification of Historic Smyrna, Delaware, and stimulates an environment which assures that Smyrna is an attractive and safe place to live, shop, work and play.
The Association models its initiatives after the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Program® using a Four Point approach to the preservation and revitalization of Smyrna’s historic business district. The Association receives no direct support from local, state or federal governments for its operations.
About Smyrna Delaware
In 1768 a small community named Salisbury, more popularly known as Duck Creek, was formed by farmers, merchants and shippers on the banks of Duck Creek and near the crossroads of the major north-south road, The King’s Highway and an east-west route, The Maryland Road, connecting the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. The area was especially attractive for farming, timber and shipping due to its safe port just west of the Delaware Bay. In 1806 an act of the Delaware Assembly renamed the village Smyrna after the thriving Turkish seaport of biblical times. Seventy years later, busy Smyrna, with new wharves and warehouses, was a distinguished center noted for grain, lumber and peaches.
One of the notable features about our town is its historic Smyrna Opera House. It was severely damaged by fire in 1948 and was restored and enlarged in 2002 by the Smyrna-Clayton Heritage Association. Today it is the last surviving second story Opera House in Delaware, is one of the few left in the United States and offers a wonderful affordable series of performing arts by local and national artists, as well as a gallery exhibiting fine arts and sculpture by local artists.
The Museums of the Duck Creek Historical Society include “The Plank House,” which was relocated to its current site from North Main Street and is a very early example of Delaware architecture and “The Barracks” an impressive Georgian brick structure dating from the 1790’s. “The Barracks” and the “Plank House” are located at 11 South Main Street.
Throughout the town’s history, Smyrna residents have celebrated its wonderful architectural heritage and its historical downtown. The Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association has committed itself to keep that tradition alive for future generations!
Smyrna is a great place to live work and play … and it just keeps getting better! In 2007, Smyrna, Delaware was named one of the top 50 places to live in the United States by National Geographic Adventure Magazine, and in 2009, This Old House Magazine designated Smyrna among the top 50 places to buy a historic home!
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge covers nearly 16,000 acres and falls in the Smyrna zip code.
Though not inside of the City of Smyrna “proper”, the SDRA collaborates with The Friends of Bombay Hook and the Refuge is a great attraction of the area, drawing in 100,000 visitors annually from across the USA and from multiple countries.