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Wilmington Savings Fund Society

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1920–1921, Hoggson Brothers. 1959 interior reconstructed, Hoggson Brothers. 1963 addition to south, George W. Clark. 838 N. Market St.

A slew of banks statewide attested to Delaware's economic vitality in the 1920s. This one (WSFS) was designed by a New York City firm to replace the Gothic Revival original (1886–1887, Addison Hutton). The thirteen limestone columns on the side, copies of those on the Tower of the Winds in Athens (c. 50 BC), are engaged; to vary the theme, the four across the front are free-standing. For the bank's centennial, N. C. Wyeth—trained in Wilmington at the Pyle studio (WL81)—painted an enormous, 60 × 20–foot mural, Apotheosis of the Family (1930–1932). By 1949, it was said that every third Wilmingtonian was a depositor at the bank. Across the street stands an Art Deco drugstore, formerly Woolworth's (1939–1940). In 2007 it was announced that WSFS would leave the building and remove the Apotheosis mural, which several museums nationwide clamored to obtain.

Writing Credits

Author: 
W. Barksdale Maynard
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Citation

W. Barksdale Maynard, "Wilmington Savings Fund Society", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DE-01-WL26.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 102-102.

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