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Photo, Print, Drawing A. I. du Pont Estate, Junction of State Route 141 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE

[ Photos from Survey HABS DE-283  ]

More Resources

[ Data Pages from Survey HABS DE-283  ]
[ Photo Captions from Survey HABS DE-283  ]

About this Item

Title

  • A. I. du Pont Estate, Junction of State Route 141 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE

Names

  • Historic American Buildings Survey, creator
  • du Pont, Alfred I
  • du Pont, Jessie Ball
  • Ball, Edward
  • Carrere and Hastings
  • Massena and du Pont

Created / Published

  • Documentation compiled after 1933

Headings

  • -  estates
  • -  Delaware--New Castle County--Wilmington

Notes

  • -  Significance: The A.I. du Pont estate, known as Nemours, was constructed in 1909-1910 by Alfred I. du Pont (1864-1935), great-grandson of Eleuthere Irenee du Pont, the founder of the Du Pont Company in America. The Beaux Arts-trained firm of Carrere and Hastings designed the eighteenth-century French-style mansion, upper gardens, and estate grounds. The firm of Massena and du Pont designed the lower gardens between 1929 and 1932 Massena and du Pont also designed the memorial Carillon Tower in the mid-1930s, in which are buried Alfred, his third wife, Jessie Ball du Pont, and her brother, Edward Ball. The firm also served as associate architects for the design of the Alfred I. du Pont Institute, a hospital for crippled children constructed on the estate grounds in 1940. A sizable addition to the hospital was completed in 1984. The approximately 320-acre property is roughly divided by usage with the Institute and the tower to the north and the mansion and gardens to the south. The estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Nemours Historic District. The significance of the A.I. du Pont estate is threefold. First, it stands as a physical testimony to the personality of Alfred I. du Pont. The likes and dislikes and the strengths and weaknesses of the man greatly impacted the design, construction, and operation of the estate. Indeed, any analysis of the estate cannot be separated from an understanding of the life events that shaped the character of its owner. Alfred's interest in the French heritage of his family, his interest in historical matters generally, his equal interest in modernization, and his own inventiveness in the areas of machinery and technology are all manifested in the buildings and grounds of the estate. Second, the estate stands as a physical example of the American country house movement, especially the stately homes type of architectural design practiced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This type stressed adherence to the principles of the Ecole des Beaux Arts with an understanding of current advances in building technology. Its architects designed large, ostentatious estates for the wealthy elite of business and industry. While not a preeminent example, nevertheless the Nemours estate is a fine representative of its type and period. Third, the estate stands as a physical reminder of the class dynamics and consciousness of Alfred and his contemporaries, yet it also demonstrates his personal attempts to reach beyond his class through philanthropy. The wealthy elite of Alfred's day sought to cement their position in society through exclusive living, ties to early America or Europe, pursuit of leisure activities, and accumulation of land for leisure agriculture: gentleman farming, horse and livestock breeding, and gardening. Alfred was certainly a product of this thinking, yet he also demonstrated a lifelong concern for those in society unable to help themselves. His philanthropic efforts on behalf of the elderly and the dispossesed during the Depression are indicators of this. Moreover, the Nemours estate today stands as the ultimate work of his philanthropy, both in the Institute for children and in the opening of the mansion and gardens to the public for their education and enrichment.
  • -  Survey number: HABS DE-283

Medium

  • Photo(s): 12
  • Data Page(s): 30
  • Photo Caption Page(s): 2

Call Number/Physical Location

  • HABS DEL,2-WILM.V,9-

Source Collection

  • Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Repository

Control Number

  • de0387

Rights Advisory

Online Format

  • image
  • pdf

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Alfred I Du Pont, Jessie Ball Du Pont, Edward Ball, Carrere And Hastings, and Massena And Du Pont. A. I. du Pont Estate, Junction of State Route 141 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE. New Castle County Delaware Wilmington, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/de0387/.

APA citation style:

Historic American Buildings Survey, C., Du Pont, A. I., Du Pont, J. B., Ball, E., Carrere And Hastings & Massena And Du Pont. (1933) A. I. du Pont Estate, Junction of State Route 141 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE. New Castle County Delaware Wilmington, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/de0387/.

MLA citation style:

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, et al. A. I. du Pont Estate, Junction of State Route 141 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/de0387/>.