You are here

Bellevue Hall

-A A +A
1855–1863. 1931–1933, Bernard T. Converse. 1933 gate lodges, Massena and du Pont. 800 Carr Rd. in Bellevue State Park
  • Bellevue Hall (W. Barksdale Maynard)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

So complete was its twentieth-century remodeling, one would never guess that this was once Delaware's most flamboyant Gothic Revival house, with castellated towers and curving verandas of interlacing trusswork. Philadelphia wool merchant Hanson Robinson built the mansion as a summer retreat, naming it Woolton Hall. William du Pont purchased it in 1893 and trained fine carriage and draft horses on the property. Eight years later, he bought Montpelier, home of President Madison in Virginia, to breed trotting horses. His son, William Jr., grew up at Montpelier but returned as an adult to Bellevue, reconstructing it in the 1930s as a Montpelier copy, with the familiar stuccoed walls and big four-column Doric portico of that national shrine. Here he founded a famous racing stable (with gigantic racetrack), and by the time of his death in 1965, he had trained thoroughbreds that won more than 1,200 races. Du Pont's wealth was legendary—he paid $4 million in income tax in 1960. The state bought the 273-acre Bellevue estate in 1976 and opened it to the public as a park.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Bellevue Hall", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 41-42.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.