DuPont’s main office building demolished

By Lynn R. Parks

The 20,000-square-foot red brick office building at the DuPont nylon plant in Seaford has been demolished. Cranes tore into the 62-year-old building Friday and by Tuesday, crews were clearing away rubble. “What we are doing is shrinking our footprint,” said Gary Knight, spokesman for the plant. “What we don’t occupy and have no real need for, we are getting rid of.” The building, with 40 offices and meeting rooms, was last occupied by the DuPont Co. in 1993, when administrative offices were moved into the actual plant. Since then, several companies, including Perdue and ConAgra, have rented space in the building. Most recently, Sussex Technical High School, Georgetown, had rooms in the building in which it offered continuing education classes to DuPont employees. Those classrooms have been moved into the plant. Knight said that the demolition of the building is part of an ongoing effort at the plant to get rid of all buildings that are not being needed. Including the office building, nearly 105,000 square feet of storage and office space has been torn down. “If you aren’t using a building, you have to keep up maintainance or it goes into decline,” Knight said. “That raises the cost of the operating site.” Knight said that much of the building, including steel and bricks, is being recycled. The bricks are also available to retirees and current employees as souvenirs. The large stainless steel sign that spelled out the company name at the office building entrance has been donated to the Seaford Historical Society. Society president Earl Tull said that the sign, the letters of which are about 2 feet tall, could be a “good addition” to a DuPont display that already includes the plant’s time clock and that will soon include a spinning machine. Charlie Haddock, Laurel, went to work at the plant in 1939 and retired in 1978. He spent nine years in the office building, working with personnel. He said that he was sad to see the building come down, “but there’s not much we can do about it.” “I am sorry to see it go,” added Elbert Bailey, 83, Sharptown, Md., and Labelle, Fla. Bailey went to work at the plant in November 1939 and retired in February 1981. “I figure the whole plant will be gone soon.” “Seeing something come down is always tough,” agreed Knight. “But this is something we have to do in trying to be more and more competitive. We have to hold onto the past, but it is more important to plan for the future. “There is a little bit of regret because the building has been there for so many years. But it was time to let it go.”

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