Emalea Pusey Warner was the driving force behind the New Century Club. Warner, who devoted much of her life to educaiton, organized roughly 40 leading women in Wilmington who founded the club in 1889. Originally the women met in their homes, but as their numbers grew, they began to make plans for a building that would house the club.
The women of Wilmington were inspired by the Philadelphia New Century Club, who built their own club and commissioned Minerva Parker Nichols to build it. Nichols designed the Philadelphia building and was one of the first female architects in the country. Nichols designed the Colonial Revival structure with a stage, which would be used not only for performances but to host speakers. During the many years that the New Century Club occupied the building, Woodrow Wilson and birth control activist Margaret Sanger were among the speakers who appeared there.
In 1918, the building also served as a hospital when the Spanish flu pandemic swept through Wilmington.
In the second half of the twentieth century, membership in the New Century Club declined and the building was sold in 1975. In 1982, Marie and John Swajeski purchased the building to house the Delaware Children's Theatre, which still occupies the building.The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.