site site.xsl LongwoodGardens
section nav_section.xsl section_The_Gardens
page pg_standard.xsl HeritageExhibitTour
The Peirce-du Pont House dates from 1730 and is the oldest building at Longwood Gardens. It was the family homestead of the Peirce family until 1905 and then became the weekend residence of Pierre du Pont from 1906 until his death in 1954. It is now open to the public every day of the year and is included with general admission to the Gardens.
This spacious country home resulted from five major periods of construction covering nearly 200 years. The original two-story brick farmhouse was built by Joshua Peirce in 1730 to replace a log cabin built in 1709. The brick pattern was Flemish bond with dark glazed headers and unglazed stretchers. The roof had a simple cornice and pent eaves protected the first floor windows and doors. In 1764, a two-story addition was made to the east end of the house and included a new dining room. The house was enlarged in 1824 adding a large addition to the north of the original structure. This building campaign doubled the size of the Peirce's house. In 1909, Pierre du Pont modernized the house with a two-story addition to the north. Plumbing, electricity, and heating were added throughout the house.
The largest addition was built by Mr. du Pont in 1914 when a mirror image of the original farmhouse was added to the north. At the same time, the two wings were connected by Longwood's first conservatory.
After Pierre du Pont's death in 1954, the 1914 rooms were converted into administrative offices. Many of Mr. du Pont's possessions were distributed to the du Pont family, although his garden books were retained and form the basis for Longwood's horticultural library. Mr. du Pont's other books and his personal papers were transferred to what has become the Hagley Museum and Library near Wilmington, DE.
The culmination of a decade of planning and research, the Heritage Exhibit details Longwood’s historical and horticultural legacy. It draws upon the extensive photographic and manuscript resources now stored at the Hagley Museum and Library to show the entire 300-year history of the property. Although the rooms housing the exhibit no longer appear residential, their architectural features have been preserved intact and are visible to visitors, as are photos in many rooms showing the decor during Mr. du Pont's occupancy.
element callout2.xsl WhatsinBloom
A team of Longwood Volunteers gathers horticultural highlights from the Outdoor Gardens and Conservatory. Download a pdf of their top picks for the week, including photos and locations.
element callout2.xsl Victoria_Exhibit
Journey to the wild, remote flood plains of South America and to the great gardens of Europe and North America to discover Victoria, the waterlily queen.
element callout2.xsl Festival_of_Fountains
Stand before towering fountains, wander shady groves, see fireworks light up the night sky, and enjoy concerts in the most beautiful outdoor settings.
©2006-2012 Longwood Gardens. All Rights Reserved.