The Du Ponts: Houses and Gardens in the Brandywine
A new book by Maggie Lidz shows not only the fabulous homes the family built, but also how they lived. These excerpts are but a hint.
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Christmas at 808 Broom Street, 1933
808 Broom Street, after the 1906-07 addition
Coleman du Pont's camper, where he lived while building the DuPont Highway, in the backyard, ca. 1912
808 Broom street
1809, renovated 1906-07
Residence of Coleman Du Pont
THOMAS COLEMAN DU PONT was far more interested in real estate than architecture. After resigning from the presidency of the DuPont Company in 1915, he constructed what was then the largest office space in the world, the Equitable Building in Manhattan. Among other hotels, he owned the McAlpin and the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City; the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia; and the Willard in Washington, D.C. This was the Age of the Skyscraper, but Coleman, who loved performing magic tricks, declared, “I am going to build a monument one hundred miles high and lay it on the ground.” A decade before he became a U.S. senator from Delaware (1921-22, 1924-28), he was a pivotal figure in the Progressive Era’s Good Roads Movement, launching the National Highway Association. In 1911 he spent $2 million of his own money to build the DuPont Highway in Delaware.
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