Winterthur, the museum, garden, and library, formerly home of Henry Francis du Pont, will endorse a collection of new homes inspired by historically authentic, architecturally detailed homes from the museum's extensive archives as well as interpretations and adaptations of existing architecture presently found on the Winterthur estate.
Located north of Wilmington, Delaware, Winterthur sits on 1,000 acres and is the repository of one of the most extensive and important collections of early American decorative arts in the country. There are 175 rooms in the house, containing approximately 85,000 objects. The estate is also world renowned for its extensive naturalistic garden, a legacy of H. F. du Pont’s horticultural knowledge and design skill.
Connor Homes will develop the homes through a process called “Mill-Built Architecture.” Michael Connor, company founder and CEO said the company is thrilled and honored by this one-of-a-kind opportunity to participate in the endeavor with Winterthur. “Our job will be to create floor plans and living environments that transcend the needs and requirements that motivated the original floor layouts, so that we can create new layouts suited to the present era, while preserving the architectural integrity and charm of a former time."
“All of us at Winterthur are truly excited about this agreement—it’s a perfect partnership,” says Kristin L. DeMesse, director of Winterthur Licensed Products.
Work on the design venture will begin this spring when a team of designers from Connor Homes will begin researching the many historic house plans and photos in the museum’s extensive archives. First plans and home offerings are expected in the summer and fall of this year.
Photos by Jim Westphalen