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Office Building (Louviers Building)

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Louviers Building
1951–1952 Wings 1 to 3, Voorhees, Walker, Foley and Smith, with Hubert Sheldon Stees, consultant. 1973–1974 Wing Five. Thompson Station and Paper Mill rds., 2 miles north of Newark

As corporations joined the post-World War II exodus to suburbia, DuPont decided in 1950 to decentralize the Home Office and, at the same time, consolidate the Engineering Department from eight office locations in Wilmington (see DuPont Building, WL32). It examined a dozen rural sites before choosing this remote location at Milford Crossroads. On 850 acres, DuPont planned a facility with enough room for expansion and with parking to accommodate twenty years' growth. A famous New York firm was called in as designer, one known for its industrial facilities going back to Bell Telephone Labs, New Jersey (1937–1949). The Louviers Building was fully modern, with hung metal acoustical ceiling pans, air conditioning, recessed fluorescent lighting, moveable partitions, and escalators. The steel frame allowed large, open workrooms (when work habits later became more solitary, these were subdivided). The sleekly modern lobby had book-matched marble panels on the walls. A pioneering UNIVAC 1 computer was installed in 1954. In the 1960s, the corporation planned to dam White Clay Creek to create a reservoir, a plan thankfully abandoned. MBNA, the credit card company, bought Louviers in the mid-1990s and painted the brick walls their trademark dollar-bill green. At that time, the rural surroundings were rapidly being subdivided.

Writing Credits

Author: 
W. Barksdale Maynard
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Citation

W. Barksdale Maynard, "Office Building (Louviers Building)", [Newark, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DE-01-NK3.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 175-175.

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