History of the Eugene du Pont Preventive Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute at Pelleport
In the late 1800s, William du Pont (1855-1928), the youngest of Henry du Pont’s children, commissioned his brother-in-law, noted Philadelphian Theophilus P. Chandler Jr., to design a residence for him. The 25-room, gray stone Victorian mansion was christened “Pelleport” after one of the family’s ancestral homes in France.
A successful gunpowder manufacturer, William du Pont eventually left his business and moved to Virginia. Pelleport passed to his cousin, Eugene du Pont Sr. (1840-1902), whose family occupied the property for two generations. The residence stood vacant more than 25 years until it was razed in 1954, to make room for the Eugene du Pont Convalescent Memorial Hospital.
A living Memorial for Convalescent Care
The idea for the hospital and a gift of more than $1 million in endowment to build it came from Eugene du Pont Jr. The 60-bed Eugene du Pont Memorial Convalescent Hospital officially opened in 1955. The new hospital offered long-term care and treatment for the physically disabled and continued to provide both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services for the next 36 years.
A Commitment to Community Health
In time, it became clear that the building would require extensive renovations to continue to provide state-of-the-art rehabilitation services to patients and the facility was closed. In July 1994, the Pelleport property and more than $15 million dollars were designated for use by the Eugene du Pont Preventive Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute to enhance health promotion initiatives.
Architects transformed a facility designed for 1950’s medicine into a center for preventive medicine and rehabilitation equipped for the 21st century. By July 1997, the renovation was completed and the Eugene du Pont Preventive Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute welcomed patients and visitors to their new headquarters.
The Eugene du Pont Preventive Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute
Today, the Eugene du Pont Preventive Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute is part of ChristianaCare Health System, offering a full range of health care services to our community. Programs and services are designed to promote health, prevent disease, and minimize disability.
It was closed in late 2017 for significant renovations. It re-opened on December 18, 2018.