For more than a half century, the Chrysler assembly plant in Newark, Delaware provided employment for generations of local residents and was an important economic asset and social presence in the city of Newark.
Chrysler first bought the land in 1938 for use as a parts depot. In 1951, the first plant was built to produce tanks for the U.S. Army. By mid-1952, Chrysler’s 3,000 workers had begun full scale tank production.
The plant was well known for its production of medium Patton M-48 tanks that were the work-horse of the 1960’s Vietnam conflict.And other conflicts around the world up to the 1990’s.
Plymouth and Dodge production began in April 1957, starting a run of nearly seven million cars, including the LH series, the AA bodies, and the legendary A-body.
In 1997, Chrysler invested $623 million to produce the Dodge Durango. Unfortunately due to falling sales the plant closed in 2008.
In 2009, the University of Delaware purchases the site and began construction of the STAR Campus in 2012. In 2014, the STAR Health Sciences Complex opened, which was followed up by the Tower at STAR in 2018.
While the University of Delaware maintains an active research and clinical care presence on the Science Technology and Research (STAR) Campus, the site is already a hub of innovation.
In addition to UD Health’s clinical-care services of physical therapy, primary care and speech therapy, the STAR Campus boasts a manufacture of clean fuel-cell power sources, a zero-emissions vehicle laboratory, and a 10,000 square foot wet lab incubator for small research companies.
As the site continues to grow with current construction with Chemours, a new train station, and a biopharma innovation building, the College of Health Sciences continues to foster strategic partnerships in the development of the STAR Campus.
PLANNING FOR TOMORROW
The University is building out much of the campus through collaboration with outside entities. UD owns the land and leases it to industry partners. Current and future tenants build facilities that suit their individual needs while simultaneously fitting the University’s vision of a mixed-use urban development with vibrant street life. The master plan outlines concepts for the initial area of development; the 65 acres in the site’s northwest corner.
STAR Campus embodies real-world learning. Potential tenants are expected to offer internships for students and collaborative research for faculty.
CHARLES PARK SCULPTURES
Charles Park was named “The Sculptor of Delaware” by former Governor Jack Markell. Charles Parks touched the lives of many through his splendid work. His art, rooted in Delaware, conveys his commitment to family and friends. His spirit lives on through his body of work and continues to bring joy to all who view them. These sculptures add a humane and rich iconic Delaware touch that brings meaning ot the work happening on STAR Campus — work driven to improve the health of all Delawareans.
“The Point is to create symbols that fill a spiritual need in one’s own time”
– Charles Parks