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Nemours Building

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1935–1937 and 1939–1941, Hubert Sheldon Stees for DuPont Engineering Department, with F. A. Godley. 1999–2001 remodeled, Buccini/Pollin Group. 1007 Orange St.

This fourteen-story annex to the DuPont Building (WL32) matched the Moderne style of the section of 1930–1931. It was linked to the DuPont Building by a streamlined aluminum sky walk (since removed). Stees, who had spent three years in the office of Will Price in Philadelphia, designed or helped draft 110 structures, mostly industrial, for what he called the DuPont “plan factory” over fourteen years, starting in 1928. He was proudest of this building, he told an interviewer in 1982; like the other Home Office structures, it was not meant as any kind of publicity statement, hence its plainness, but instead was focused entirely on employee comfort. At that time it was said to be the largest office building ever air-conditioned, and building managers from Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, and elsewhere came to Wilmington to study its systems. Godley, a New York City architect, was responsible for the exterior design, with setbacks to meet new city zoning regulations. At the Tatnall Street entrance hung the painting Better Things for Better Living Through Chemistry by John W. McCoy Jr., brought here after exhibition in the DuPont pavilion at the World's Fair of 1939 in New York City (now at the Hagley Museum). The Soda Shop contained murals on linoleum by a New York artist (1942, Mortelido). The Nemours Building coincided with DuPont's golden age, nylon having been announced to the public at the fair as “strong as steel, as fine as a spider's web.” An eighteen-story tower was intended to fill the unfinished notch on the building's southwest corner (1945–1947) but was later scaled down. Following the sale of the 450,000-square-foot edifice in 1999, it underwent conversion to mixed-use, with gutting of the asbestos-filled interior, replacement of all windows, and construction of a new lobby, theater, and eighty-five upscale apartments.

Writing Credits

Author: 
W. Barksdale Maynard
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Citation

W. Barksdale Maynard, "Nemours Building", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DE-01-WL33.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 107-108.

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