Click Images For Larger Views
Alfred I. du Pont (1864 – 1935) was an American industrialist, financier and philanthropist. A member of the wealthy Du Pont family, Alfred du Pont first rose to prominence through his work in his family’s Delaware-based gunpowder manufacturing plant, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (better known as DuPont), in which for many years he served as a director of the board and Vice President of operations.
Alfred married Alicia, his second wife, in 1907 and showered her with gifts. By far the grandest of these was the magnificent house that he built for her between 1909 and 1910 on 300-acres in Wilmington, DE. He hired Carrere and Hastings, a prestigious New York architectural firm, to design the mansion in the late-18th-century French style that Alicia adored.
Alfred named the estate Nemours, after the French town that his great-great-grandfather represented in the French Estates General. The mansion resembles a Château and contains more than one-hundred rooms spread over five floors occupying nearly 47,000 sq ft.
The estate has the most developed and largest “jardin à la française” (French formal garden) style landscape garden in North America. The design is patterned after the gardens of Versailles surrounding the Petit Trianon at the Château de Versailles. Their central axis extends ⅓ of a mile from the mansion facade. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with plantings, fountains, pools, statuary, and a pavilion surrounded by woodlands.
The estate, today, is owned by the Nemours Foundation.