DuPont Marks 100th Anniversary of the DuPont Building
Landmark Wilmington Building Became Company Headquarters in 1907
DuPont today commemorated the 100th anniversary of the DuPont Building – the headquarters building of the 205-year-old company since its opening in 1907.
The first section of the building officially opened in 1907 and initially accommodated about 2,500 office workers. Only 550 of them were DuPont employees. The rest worked for the Wilmington Trust Company and other entities.
In 1902, when three du Pont cousins began to reorganize the company they had acquired and recognized the need for a headquarters, it was not assumed that Wilmington would be its home. In fact, DuPont President T. Coleman du Pont favored New York City, but his two cousins, Pierre S. and Alfred I. du Pont, prevailed, choosing to stay near their original manufacturing plant on the Brandywine River.
Once that decision was made, the du Pont cousins purchased a building site bounded by Tenth, Eleventh and Market Streets. Construction began in March 1906. The 12-story building, then Wilmington’s tallest, was finished slightly more than a year later.
By 1910, the building could no longer accommodate the office space needs of DuPont, the Wilmington Trust Company and other local businesses, so plans were made to double its size. The need for space continued and the company eventually added four more sections, including nearly 586,000 square feet, or 13.5 acres of floor space. Other amenities also were added, including, a 1,256 seat theater and the Hotel du Pont.
“The anniversary of the DuPont Building underscores the depth of our roots in Wilmington,” said DuPont Vice President and Chief Engineer James B. Porter, Jr. “We’re proud to call Wilmington, Delaware, our global headquarters. And we’re proud to mark this milestone anniversary for our headquarters building.”
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