A Brand New Nemours
Three years and $39 million later, the estate is new again. Welcome to 1910.
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Industrialist Alfred I. du Pont believed it was the responsibility of the wealthy to help those less fortunate, that “it is the duty of everyone in the world to do what is in his power to alleviate human suffering.”
Throughout his life, friends and employees knew that they could count on him in times of need. Most impressive, however, was his dedication to this belief, even in death. Through his will, and through the cooperation and foresight of his trustees, Alfred I. du Pont created a legacy of charity and stewardship that lie in sharp contrast to the foreboding glass-topped stone wall he once lived behind.
Today, almost 75 years later, the mansion and gardens behind that wall are again open to the public and, after a three-year, $39 million restoration, the experience at Nemours is brand new. The massive efforts of conservators and craftsmen were coordinated to make sure the new experience feels like it would have upon entering when the mansion was built in 1910.
Named Nemours after his family’s ancestral home in France, du Pont built his estate on 300 acres near the trees he had once walked under with his father. His father had once told him that if he’d had his way, he’d sit under those trees eating ice cream and reading books for the rest of his life.
Alfred had other interests that would help turn Nemours into a fantastic estate. The architectural firm of Carrere and Hastings designed the mansion and gardens, but Alfred kept himself busy refining their designs and designing the hydraulic systems that pumped water through the fountains and house.
The mansion is a full acre under one roof, with more than 70 rooms on five floors. The original estate, along with its wonderful flower gardens, was fully self-sufficient, providing food to the family from orchards, vegetable gardens and dairy cattle. In the basement, there was even a power plant.
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