The Crowninshield Garden is a ca. 1920s neoclassical garden designed by Louise du Pont Crowninshield and her husband Frank Crowninshield and built on the terraced ruins of Eleutherian Mills––the first DuPont Company industrial site in the United States. Operating from 1803-1921, Eleutherian Mills was the foremost gunpowder production manufactory in America. The site was the foundation of a sprawling global chemical and business empire tied to the du Ponts, who rose to become one of the wealthiest families in the world by World War I. The garden constructed on top of the ruins of this historic industrial complex during the 1920s appears to have been constructed slowly over the course of a decade by local craftsmen and by the Crowninshields themselves, who attempted to create exact scale replicas of architectural features they had observed on their travels in Italy. It is a provocative combination of classical ruins, industrial ruins, and the ruins of time.
The garden was an inspiration to professional and amateur artists. Hagley’s collection contains some of these artistic works.
Many of the architectural features that the Crowninshields placed in their garden have been added to the collection as well.