2 sites in Pennsylvania, 1 in Delaware become National Historic Landmarks

Two sites in Pennsylvania and a Delaware mansion with strong Philadelphia ties have been designated as National Historic Landmarks.

The sites were among the 24 new landmarks announced Wednesday by the Interior Department.

The just-named landmarks are the George Read II House in New Castle, Del., the Keim Homestead in Berks County and the W. A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop in Greene County.

The Read House was built between 1801 and 1803 by George Read II, whose father George Read signed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and served as a senator, chief justice of Delaware and president of Delaware, according to the Delaware Historical Society. Read II built his mansion next to his father's property. Prior to his role in the nation's founding, the elder Read studied law in Philadelphia.

The Interior Department called the mansion "an exceptional example of Federal style architecture in the mid-Atlantic region," adding that the "house is especially valuable in understanding the evolution of American architecture during the early years of the nation."

The house is now under the historical society's stewardship and is open to visitors.

The Keim Homestead is a historic farm in Oley, Berks County. The two-and-a-half story limestone structure was built in 1753, according to the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County.

The house is "an exceptionally intact example of early German American domestic vernacular architecture," the Interior Department said.

The trust now owns the property, which is open to visitors by advance appointment only.

The W. A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop in Rices Landing is an example of a small, family-owned 20th century shop that did work for a variety of clients. The shop was built in 1900 and expanded to include the foundry in 1908, according to the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, which now manages the property.

Original owner and operator William A. Young was carpenter and crafted many patterns used by the foundry, which produced all types of metal products.

The site "includes perhaps the finest collection of machine tools found in a small job shop," according to the Interior Department.

The shop, which closed in 1966, still features 25 fully operational machines and is open to tours.

Before latest round of designations, there were 167 National Historic Landmarks in Pennsylvania, 58 in New Jersey and 13 in Delaware.