Hagley Crowninshield Garden

New Castle County, Delaware

The Hagley Museum and Library celebrates Hagley and its Eleutherian Mills, a gunpowder mill site used for the manufacture of explosives by the Du Pont family business, founded by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. Hagley is also home to the 1920’s Crowninshield Garden a neoclassical design built on the terraced ruins of the Eleuthrian Mills but out of use for decades. NBW was engaged to reconsider the development of the Crowninshield portion in order to reactivate it for visitors and to incorporate it into the greater museum campus. 

NBW used  a rehabilitative approach to the Crowninshield Garden, carefully identifying opportunities for restoration and reconstruction of historic structures alongside structural engineers Silman, while outlining a clear, flexible framework for design interventions to support creative horticultural display and public visitation. The planning and design process resulted in the creation of the Research Synthesis and Conceptual Design documents that reveal the multiple layers of interpretation that this garden represents and the potential for preservation and development. The design uses a 21st century approach to preservation revealing the many layers of the historic fabric of American industrial history