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A. I. du Pont Hospital for Children (A. I. du Pont Institute)

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A. I. du Pont Institute
1937–1941, Massena and du Pont, with Crisp and Edmunds. 1977–1981 greatly enlarged, Saxelbye, Powell, Roberts and Ponder

Alfred I. du Pont was an orphan and later suffered from partial deafness and blindness. Upon his death, he left a fortune for a children's hospital, one emphasizing research and with no more than $1 million to be spent on the building itself, which stylistically is a stripped-classical offshoot of Nemours mansion. An advisory committee directed the architects to give natural light to every room, include sunrooms, and to be sure that flowers were visible outside. An auditorium was used for plays and motion pictures. A. I.'s widow, Jessie Ball du Pont, advised, and artist-doctor Jack Wilson painted wax-emulsion murals of Dinah Craik's 1875 story “The Little Lame Prince.” Architect Alfred Victor du Pont visited similar facilities in California and Colorado and partnered with Crisp and Edmunds, a Baltimore firm specializing in hospitals. By 1974, four years after Jessie's death, the Nemours Foundation was the fourth-largest in the United States and the hospital was soon to be enormously enlarged by a firm in Jacksonville, Florida.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "A. I. du Pont Hospital for Children (A. I. du Pont Institute)", [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, 50-51.

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