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Public Building of the City of Wilmington and County of New Castle (former)
Until its conversion into office space in the early-twenty-first century, the Beaux-Arts, granite City and County Building had “City Hall” carved over its southerly door, and “Court House” over its northerly, emblematic of the original dual nature of the structure. Its design—a long Corinthian colonnade linking two triumphal-arch motifs—was a collaboration between a New York firm and Thompson, a Wilmington architect. They won a competition, judged by a jury assembled by Professor Warren P. Laird of the University of Pennsylvania (consisting of architects Paul Cret, William M. Kendall, and H. Van Buren Magonigle). The competition disallowed towers and domes, reminders of unfashionable Victorian civic styles. New York City artist Charles Keck carved the reliefs over the exterior doors. Fast-growing MBNA, the second largest credit card bank in the world at the time and Delaware's largest nongovernment employer, purchased the building in 2002. The conversion by Homsey Architects included dismantling the front steps, which had been integral to the 1914 design, and removal of the historic, walnut-lined courtrooms.
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