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Granogue

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1921–1923, Albert H. Spahr. South of Smith Bridge Rd. overlooking Brandywine Creek, east of Centreville

Irénée du Pont presided over the family company from 1919 to 1926, years of phenomenal expansion and profitability. He bought four contiguous farms comprising more than 500 acres and began a Colonial Revival house spacious enough for his family of nine children plus six live-in servants. The site was a lofty hilltop with spectacular views across the Brandywine valley. Pittsburgh architect Spahr had been a classmate of Irénée at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Construction was of brick faced with Germantown, Pennsylvania, granite; floors were reinforced concrete covered in teak; walls were paneled in oak carved by American Car and Foundry. Metal craftsman Samuel Yellin provided the iron hardware. A garage housed twelve cars. Du Pont collected minerals, and his wife, Irene Sophie, was a horticulturist, so the architect included a museum, solarium, and conservatory. A Maxfield Parrish mural depicting a romantic landscape hangs above a large organ. The basement contained a chemical laboratory and milk-testing facility for the estate's dairy operations. Sophie laid out the gardens with DuPont engineer Albert E. S. Hall. As the twenty-first century began, Granogue remained occupied by Irénée's and Sophie's only son.

Writing Credits

Author: 
W. Barksdale Maynard
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Citation

W. Barksdale Maynard, "Granogue", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DE-01-CH9.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 59-59.

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