Constructed circa 1879 by the Delaware DuPonts, the DuPont Mansion is representative of the Victorian Era Italianate-Renaissance Revival style found throughout the neighborhood known as the Old Louisville Historical District.
Old Louisville was developed shortly after the end of the Civil War in response to economic and population growth in the city and marked by the ever-increasing wealth of some citizens. A key factor was the installation of a streetcar system connecting the area with the financial and manufacturing centers near the Ohio River.
The DuPont brothers, Alfred Victor and Biederman, had come to Louisville in 1854. Here, they founded A.V. DuPont and Company, manufacturers and wholesale dealers in paper and gunpowder. Later they developed a number of other business interests and became two of Louisville’s leading citizens. Biederman is well known for opening his family’s Fourth Street estate to be used as a public park for some twenty-seven years prior to 1904, when the property was purchased by the city. Its name then-and now-Central Park. Central Park is located less than a block from the DuPont Mansion.
Fourth Street was an especially exciting place to live during Mr. DuPont’s time there. In addition to concerts, balloon raisings, and other activities in Central Park, the great Southern Exposition, a huge industrial fair, was held in the area annually from 1883 through 1887.
About 1886, Thomas Prather Jacob and his family moved into the DuPont Mansion. Mr. Jacob came from a prominent family. His father, considered one of the wealthiest men in Louisville in his day, was active in Louisville affairs and at one time owned a large amount of land in the area of Old Louisville.
Around the turn of the century, the house was divided into apartments. One apartment dweller in 1922 was W.H. McAlpin, an engineer, for whom the lock and dam system on the Ohio River at Louisville was named in 1964.
The mansion remained as apartments until Gayle and Herbert Warren purchased the property in October of 2000. After renovation, the Warrens opened the mansion as a Bed and Breakfast in the spring of 2001.
Information for this history was taken from excerpts from the Bellarmine University Women’s Council 2001 Designers’ Show House program.