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Henry H. Dupont

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henry H. Dupont
BuildingsBona Thompson Memorial Library
Hall School
Don CeSar Hotel
Casa De Muchas Flores
ProjectsVon Duprin
Don CeSar Hotel on St. Pete Beach

Henry H. Dupont was an American architect. He practiced from Indianapolis, Indiana,[1] and then Pinellas County, Florida after relocating there in 1915.[2]



DuPont trained for several years under many of the best architects in the Midwest before he traveled to Paris, France and graduated from the Ecole de Beaux Arts.[3]

DuPont designed Bona Thompson Memorial Library in Irvington, Indiana, the eclectic Masonic Temple and Hall School.[4]

Dupont, along with Carl Prinzler, the Manager of the Builders Hardware Department at the Vonnegut Hardware Company developed the first "panic bar" device for doors which can be pushed to open the door from the inside despite being locked on the outside.[5] This invention was born out of necessity after a fire broke out in the Iroquois Theatre in Chicago in 1903 and claimed 600 lives.[6] Many of the deaths were attributed to exit doors being latched and panicked crowds being unable to open inward-swinging doors due to audience members surging forward in an attempt to escape.[7] After patenting this hardware, the device became known under the trade name Von Duprin, a blend of the three principals surnames, VONnegut, DUpont, PRINzler.[8] In 1910, Vonnegut Hardware Company began to sell the Von Duprin Safe Exit Device; not long after many public buildings in Indianapolis implemented the panic bar, setting standards that the rest of the nation too would soon follow.[5]

Dupont announced his move to Florida in 1915, with an office in St. Petersburg's Central National Bank Building.[9] In Pinellas County, Florida, he designed the Don CeSar Hotel and Casa De Muchas Flores.[10][11]


Hall School in Hall, Indiana

Further reading

  • Building Age, Volume 45 David Williams Company, 1923 page 30
  • Beautiful Bungalows of the Twenties, Building Age Publishing Corporation, Dover Publications, Sep 16, 2003 page 3
  • (Re)constructing the Little Red Schoolhouse: History, Landscape and Memory, Joanne Raetz Stuttgen Indiana University, 2002 - 492 pages Pages 166, 168


  1. ^ [1] Men of Indiana in Nineteen Hundred and One by Adolph B. Benesch Benesch publishing Company, 1901 page 135
  2. ^ American Architect. American architect. 1915.
  3. ^ "Henry Dupont". Tampa Bay Times. 1915-01-03. p. 2. Retrieved 2024-01-23.
  4. ^ "LandmarkHunter.com | Henry H. Dupont". landmarkhunter.com. Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  5. ^ a b "Panic Bar". indyencyclopedia.org. 2023-05-10. Retrieved 2024-01-23.
  6. ^ McCoy, Erin. "Massasoit Libraries: Major American Fires: Iroquois Theater Fire- 1903". library.massasoit.edu. Retrieved 2024-01-23.
  7. ^ "7 inventions Indiana contributed to the world". WTTV CBS4Indy. 2023-10-29. Retrieved 2024-01-23.
  8. ^ Technology & Conservation, Volume 11 Issue 1 Technology Organization., 1992 page 9
  9. ^ American Architect and Architecture - Volume 107 - Page 62 books.google.com/books?id=umhTAAAAMAAJ 1915
  10. ^ "The Unexpected Town Full of Hidden Architectural Gems". Architectural Digest. 2017-06-15. Retrieved 2024-01-23.
  11. ^ "St. Petersburg 'Cocoon' home is for sale for $11.5 million". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2024-01-23.
  12. ^ The Saturday Evening Post - Volume 202 - Page 167 books.google.com/books?id=eCQkAQAAMAAJ Mary Andrews Denison 1929
  13. ^ The American Home - Volume 6 - Page 1 books.google.com/books?id=pWbWAAAAMAAJ