Reynold's Candy Company Building
Reynold's Candy Shop circa 1950s
Reynold's Candy Company Building in downtown Wilmington, Delaware
Backstory and Context
The Reynold's Candy Company (sometimes spelled "Reynolds Candy Company) building is a prime example of an ornately decorated 1920s mixed-use commercial building. Built in 1929, The three-story masonry building displays a finely-detailed Beaux-Art Italian Renaissance terra-cotta facade and a curved cast metal canopy mounted above the first-floor storefront. Unlike many buildings on Market Street, it largely retains its original design -- it served the Reynold's Candy Company for more than forty years as a factory and store.
Shortly before World War I, Elwood Griffenberg purchased Reynold's Candy Company, initially located in York, Lancaster, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 1923, the Pennsylvania factories closed, and the company subsequently moved to Wilmington; construction on the historic building finished in 1929. A tea room and candy shop occupied the first floor while the candy factory, which employed fifty people at its height, operated on the second and third floors. Along with offering 500 varieties of Reynold's candies, the store supported one of the most expansive soda fountain counters known to exist, spanning seventy-five feet. (More than 200 people could fill the candy shop and restaurant.) The Reynold's Candy Company ceased making candy in 1961, but the candy shop remained in business until 1971.
Although its most recent occupant is Cavanaugh's Restaurant, metal letters on the building's facade that spell "Reynold's Candy Company," offer a tangible reminder of its history and when Market Street abound in retailers.
"City History." The City of Wilmington, Delaware. wilmingtonde.gov. Accessed February 9, 2021. https://www.wilmingtonde.gov/about-us/about-the-city-of-wilmington/city-history.
Hawk, Alan. "Nomination Form: Reynold's Candy Company Building." National Register of Historic Places. nps.gov. January 30, 1985. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/f7b11337-ec2b-40b3-986f-53bbf8ce9313/.
Maynard, W. Barksdale. "Cavanaugh's Restaurant (Reynolds Candy Store)." "Society of Architectural Historians. SAH Archipedia. Accessed February 9, 2021. https://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DE-01-WL23.
Delaware Historical Society, 2015, via the Downtown Wilmington Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/downtownwilmingtonde/
By Smallbones - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10698111