Hotel du Pont recordsCreation: 1913-2002 Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-1992
Hotel du Pont is a historic hotel located in Wilmington, Delaware that opened in 1913. This collection of Hotel du Pont materials represents publicity materials covering the renovations within the hotel and some of the more special events held there primarily dating from 1980 to 1992.
- Creation: 1913-2002
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-1992
- Hotel du Pont (Organization)
- E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. General Services Department (Organization)
8 Linear Feet
Hotel du Pont is a historic hotel located in Wilmington, Delaware that opened in 1913. The Hotel du Pont Company was organized on July 2, 1912, for the purpose of operating a hotel within the Du Pont Building in downtown Wilmington. Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954), one of the architects of the reorganized DuPont Company, was president, and his chief financial assistant, John J. Raskob (1879-1950), was secretary-treasurer.
The Hotel du Pont opened its doors to guests on January 15, 1913 with 150 guest rooms. The Hotel Company leased a section of the combined structure from the Du Pont Building Corporation. A separate subsidiary of the Building Corporation, The Play House Company, built and operated a 1300-seat theater within the same structure. Both P.S. du Pont and John J. Raskob maintained suites at the hotel and other du Pont family members resided there for various periods of time. The hotel's ballrooms and restaurants were the scene of many company and family functions. Notable features were the Gold Ballroom, added in 1918, the Green Room, and the Brandywine Room of 1941.
On January 1, 1927, an agreement was made with the Bowman-Biltmore Hotels Corporation to operate the Hotel du Pont and the name was changed to Hotel du Pont-Biltmore. This agreement was cancelled In June 1933 and the operation reverted to the Hotel du Pont Company and the name was returned to Hotel du Pont. On June 30, 1934, The Hotel du Pont Company was dissolved, and its assets and liabilities were sold to the Du Pont Building Corporation. The Du Pont Building Corporation was dissolved in turn on September 30, 1936, and its assets transferred to E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. Since then, the hotel has been operated by managerial units of the DuPont Company: the Office Buildings Division (1936-1948), Office Buildings Department (1948-1953), General Services Department (1954-1971), Central Systems and Services Department (1971-1972), and General Services Department (1973-). In the spring of 2015, after moving its headquarters out of the Du Pont Building, the DuPont Company began seeking a buyer for the hotel.
Scope and Contents
With the exception of an historical file dating back to 1913 and an agreement file dating back to 1954, the records deal with materials generated by publicity of the hotel's accommodations and special events between about 1980 and 1992. They include items about the grand reopening in 1992, items collected for the hotel's 75th anniversary history book, and newspaper clippings, both loose and in scrapbooks.
Most noteworthy among the special events covered are several "national week" event, in which the hotel would exchange chefs and displays with hotels of similar status in foreign capitals, thus introducing Wilmington patrons to the best in foreign cuisines and entertainments. The most extensive coverage is for "Japan Week," in 1984, in which the hotel paired with the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and alternated Japanese and Cajun cuisine. Less coverage is available for "Spanish Week" and "Swedish Week" in 1988 and "French Week" in 1989. "Swedish Week" celebrated the original settlement of the lower Delaware Valley by Swedish and Finnish colonists.
A final category deals with arrangements and publicity for visiting dignitaries, including Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, King Carl XVI of Sweden, and Princesses Hiafa and Johana of Saudi Arabia.
No restrictions on access.
Hotel du Pont photographs and videos (Accession 2013.269), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Hotel du Pont records
- Christopher T. Baer and Rainer Naus
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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