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Hotel du Pont miscellany

1911-2013
 Collection
Accession: 2680

Abstract

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. The Hotel du Pont miscellany represents objects, including former lobby decorations, removed prior to a proposed sale of the building. Items include menus, advertisements, check, and jacket pins.

Dates

  • 1911-2013

Creator

Extent

0.25 Linear Foot

Historical Note

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. Many company and family functions were held at the hotel's ballrooms and restaurants. 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. The agreement was canceled 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 1955 the DuPont Company examined the future of the Hotel du Pont. Should the Hotel continue, be sold, or closed? The company's Executive Committee authorized a study which concluded: that there was a need for a first-class hotel; other hotel chains were not interested in the Wilmington market; and food services were needed, not only for hotel guests but also for company employees. As a result, a decision was made to modernize the hotel and bring it up to date. 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

This collection of Hotel du Pont material represents objects, including former lobby decorations, removed prior to a proposed sale of the building. Items include a 1911 check from the city for a strip of land donated by the company for the purpose of widening 11th Street; menu and programs for the dinner given to the King and Queen of Sweden in 1988; gilt jacket pins issued to celebrate the reopening of the hotel in 1992; sample guest room bill from September 1936; description of the photo-collage lobby mural commissioned from artist Terrence Roberts to celebrate the hotel's 100th anniversary in 2013; miscellaneous advertising of the hotel and its restaurants; 75th anniversary of the Playhouse Theatre in 1987; and advertisements from the 1990s and 2000s featuring the restaurants and ballroom, and facilities at the DuPont Country Club; and prints of elements of the Terrence Roberts lobby mural on fine art paper.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Related Materials

Hotel du Pont records (Accession 2332), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Hotel du Pont historical files (Accession 2597), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Hotel du Pont photographs and videos (Accession 2013.269), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Hotel du Pont miscellany
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400