What is the design style of Hotel du Pont?

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Pam George

Opened in 1913, the white stone of Hotel du Pont’s exterior evokes a European design sensibility. French and Italian craftsman helped create the structure, which took two years to build and cost more than $1 million.

The impressive hotel lobby has stone walls, an ornate ceiling reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance and Gothic-like chandeliers. A mezzanine gives you an up-close look at the ceiling and a bird’s-eye view of the lobby. In the past, the lobby furniture was a tad prissy. But it was redone in 2010, and today there’s a beautiful medley of Art Deco-like chaise lounges with undulating backs, leather club chairs and standing lights that look like giant carnivorous tube-shaped plants.

Similarly, the Lobby Lounge dining area has been made over with cherry-red leather high-back chairs that pop against the dark wainscoting and black-and-beige geometric carpet pattern.

During your stay at the luxury hotel, peek into the Gold Ballroom suite, opened in 1919. Your jaw will drop as you gaze at the marble staircase. The reception room has a marble floor and travertine walls, and the main room is worthy of a French palace. Check out the allegorical figures of 20 beautiful women on the wall, including Cleopatra and Catherine of Russia, and the ornate ceiling. The wall art is a form of sgraffito, which means “scratching.” For one year, 30 artists scratched on multiple layers of colored plaster to create the unique designs at the Wilmington hotel.

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