Image of Delaware historical marker

Francis Irenee du Pont commissioned this building when he left DuPont during the divestment of 1912.  He had previously been the first director of the DuPont Experimental Station. You can see a number of Patents issued to du Pont during his time here hanging outside out restrooms. Work conducted here included the separation of oxidized nitrogen from the air to form nitric acid and nitrates, the effect of strong electromagnets upon partially ionized gases, and the development of Smokeless Powder.


The building, completed in 1917, was designed and built by Robeson Lea Perot of Philadelphia, and is in the Mission/Colonial Spanish Revival Style.


In 1930 it became the research laboratory of the Darco Division of the Atlas Powder Company and was sold the Harry Thiel in 1946, who operated the Harper Thiel Electroplating Company. They had a reputation as one of the most modern and versatile platers on the east coast. Our taproom served as the Machine Shop at Harper-Thiel, and possibly the earlier companies as well. In our rafters, you can still see some of the driveshaft bearings.


Harper-Thiel operated until April of 2000, at which point the property went vacant.

The property required significant remediation, with help from numerous government sources, prior to its current renovated state.


Interestingly, the City Limits of Wilmington used to run directly through the taproom, right in the neighborhood of the current bar.


1917-1930:         Delaware Chemical Engineering Company

1930-1946:         Research Lab – Darco Division of the Atlas Powder Company

1946-2000:         Harper-Thiel Electroplating

2000-2018:         Vacant


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