You are here
Au Clair School (McCoy House)
Dr. John C. McCoy became wealthy by developing a patent-medicine catarrh remedy. He was also a horse breeder and operated a public harness-racing track here starting in 1892, with a 3,000-seat grandstand. His twenty-eight-room mansion is unusual in Delaware for its Germanic flavor, and family legend attributed the design to McCoy's student days in Germany. Extremely steep roofs employed ninety tons of brown glazed tiles from Belgium, and walls two feet thick were faced with yellow brick. The home was familiarly known as the Gingerbread House for its picturesque qualities. Inside, pine paneling and decorative woodwork is copious, and there are massive brick chimneypieces. A mosaic of a Greek goddess was derived from a coin in McCoy's collection. In the late 1960s, the house became a pioneering school for autistic children.
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.