900 OId Kennett Rd., Wilmington, Del. 19807 | Photos and TREND images via Long & Foster Real Estate
We usually don’t venture beyond Southeastern Pennsylvania in search of outstanding homes. But every so often, an outstanding home within the Philadelphia region but outside the five counties comes to our attention.
This magnificent estate in Wilmington’s tony northwest suburbs is one of those.
Located in the middle of a 550-acre nature preserve, “Stonehouse” is one of the finest mansions in Wilmington’s “chateau country.” The French Provincial home was built to last in 1939 by socialite Margaretta “Gret” du Pont and her husband, Crawford “Greenie” Greenewalt, who served as a president of the DuPont company for 14 years. Greenewalt’s concern for safety, strength and durability led him to construct this home out of steel and concrete: each floor has a 12-inch-thick concrete base, and even the walk-up attic has concrete stairs and floors. Read more »
We told you earlier today that the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Wilmington burned to the ground overnight. It was the second fire at the church in two weeks, and federal officials are investigating.
One witness to the fire captured the scene from a camera-equipped drone — see above — providing a rare perspective of the conflagration. Read more »
The Wilmington Blue Rocks are a Class A Advanced affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The team plays just off of I-95 and can be a bargain night out for friends and family. But today they are getting all sorts of attention because of the above creation. That my friends is the Wilmington Blue Rocks Krispy Kreme Donut Dog, complete with raspberry jelly, bacon and enough sugary glaze to send you into shock.
The donut will be available at Blue Rocks home games and right now, the team is looking for a name for the Frankenstein-ian creation.
Newsweek takes a close look at Wilmington and labels the city “Murder Town USA”:
This year, there have been 27 homicides in Wilmington, tying its record 27 murders in 2010, and 135 people have been shot. Twenty-two of them died. With a population of just over 71,000, Wilmington had a violent-crime rate of 1,625 per 100,000 people last year, according to the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report (that crime rate measures murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault). The national average was 368 per 100,000 people. Wilmington ranks third for violence among 450 cities of comparable size, behind the Michigan towns of Saginaw and Flint, according to a Wilmington News Journal report. For a city mired in violence, the most stunning fact of all may be that Wilmington just got its first homicide unit.
What hasn’t been as widely reported is that the area around Delaware has shown a dramatic and consistent drop in crime over the past two years. The murder rate in the rest of New Castle County has dropped 55 percent since 2012; and the new man in charge is getting a lot of attention from the international law enforcement community for the unique crime fighting system he put into place.
“We recently had to bring in a translator for one of our meetings because some diplomats from Colombia wanted to see what we were doing,” said Colonel Elmer Setting, New Castle County’s police chief and new star.
This is one of those family backyards that are always occupied. Always. Take a look at what basically amounts to a water park in the gallery and you’ll see what I mean. But even without that popular area, the Delaware manse might seduce buyers anyway.
Traditional hardwoods are featured strongly throughout the home, save for the front-to-back foyer, which boasts checkered marble flooring instead. The living room leads into a coffered-ceiling sunroom and an office with cherry millwork. Mansion-style amenities include a fireplace in the master bath; a computer nook; a billiards room; and a stocked bar. From the kitchen (custom cabinetry, granite countertops, double Sub Zero fridge and Miele dishwasher) there’s access to two rooms: 1) a family room with vaulted ceiling, built-ins, and wood burning stove; and 2) a breakfast room with vaulted ceiling and view of the water park — well, they don’t call it that, but they do say it’s “resort-like”. There’s a waterfall, slide, winter hot tub, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, travertine patio and custom pergola, among other resort touches.
Bobby Cummings seems like a great guy, quick with a smile, easy to talk with, a full-grown Boy Scout. Honest, courteous, kind, the whole package.
And that’s why I feel so bad for him. He just accepted the nearly impossible task of turning around the most dangerous city in America – Wilmington, Delaware. Recently it passed Camden and every other city in the country in per capita murders, shooting and violent crimes.
It’s not that I don’t think Cummings can make a difference. He can, if the City of Wilmington will let him.
I didn’t realize how much Cummings is handicapped by bureaucratic idiocy until I sat down with him for a TV interview on MeTV, Channel 2. Within the first three minutes of the interview I was stunned.
I asked an obvious question, “Do you need more police officers?” And I got the obvious answer, “Yes.” Like any police chief in the history of police chiefs would say no.
“How many do you need?”
It was the answer to that question was the stunner. Cummings said, “If I could get 50 more police officers, I could start a homicide unit.”
This redwood home on a woodsy acre has an outbuilding whose historic context beats that of most other Wilmington real estate, to be sure. In October of 1962, the country was brought to what seemed to be the brink of nuclear war. By this time, children had been crouching beneath their desks–“Duck and Cover!”–for civil defense test raids for a decade. But the Cuban Missile Crisis provoked the kind of fear that would lead a homeowner to speedily erect a stone bunker on his property.
What is the shelter good for now? Perhaps 21st-century end-of-days folks who want a place to preserve their potable water will find it appealing. Do such people live in Wilmington, Del.? If not, the listing suggests a wine cellar, which is much more fun.
As for the other aspects of the house, given the number of pine and oak walls, the decor may be responsible for the Delaware Wooden Wall Crisis of 1952.
Which of the above images is the actual Winterthur? Answer revealed in the gallery below of the house for sale.
The du Pont estate Winterthur, which is now a museum dedicated to American furniture (surely the Keno brothers have fondled a chair or two in its confines), has competition just about a mile away. There’s a grand home for sale known to some (well, this blog, at least) as Mini Winterthur, though in point of fact it has more acreage—61.31 acres—than the Du Pont site itself.
The home for sale has 9 bedrooms and 9.5 baths laid out over a capacious 12,550 square feet. Designed by William Bottomley, a famed New York architect renowned for spiffing up Richmond, Virginia, in neo-Georgian fashion, it features random width hardwood floors, spindles to die for and a pressing room. In case 9 bedrooms won’t take care of the whole family, there’s also a separate 2-bedroom farmhouse as well as a 3-bedroom tenant house. For those truly undesirable guests, stick ’em in the pool house or the tack room for the 24-stall barn. At least they’ll be on an estate that’s listed on the National Historic Registry, and that’s not nothing.
The home, which is listed at $6 million, is being handled by Patterson Schwartz. Info here.