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I.E. Dupont  Building

The I.E. Dupont  Building, which served as a laboratory and offices, is located at 427 West Fourth Street in Charlotte's Third Ward.  The building is among the last of large industrial structures built near the center of the city.  While a good collection of industrial buildings still exist in Third Ward to the west of the Southern Railroad, the Dupont Building and the neighboring Virginia Paper Company Building are the only large surviving examples of industrial buildings in the  section of Third Ward bounded by the Southern Railroad and Mint Street.  Until much of it was destroyed during Urban Renewal, this section of the city was home to factories and warehouses dependent on railroad transportation, with workers' houses scattered among the industrial buildings. 


The Dupont Building, which faces north, is located across West Fourth Street from the Charlotte Post Office (former).  The flat roofed masonry building features a strict symmetry, and is composed of a three-story principal section, bordered by two 2-story wings.  The brick are laid in a modified American bond, with alternating headers and stretchers in the bonding courses.  On the facade and sides the brick are laid atop a high reinforced concrete base.  The principal section is nine bays wide, with a three-bay wide frontispiece constructed of sandstone blocks and topped with a simple coped cap.  Granite steps lead to double metal-frame doors (now boarded over), bordered by narrow window openings (now boarded over).  The individual bays are recessed slightly, with every recessed bay on each of the three floors containing a single metal-framed double-hung window.  The sills of the first-floor window (now boarded over) are integrated into the building's tall concrete base.  Second and third story windows feature a simple sandstone sill.  The tops of the bays terminate in a sandstone band, above this a coped stone band caps the wall. 


The two-story side wings extend forward past the facade of the principal section the width of two bays.  The side wings are virtually identical.  Each of the wings are four bays wide and ten bays deep.  The concrete base, window sills, and sandstone bands and caps are the same as those found on the principal section.  With the exception of the coped stone cap that extends around the top of the buildings walls, the limited ornamentation and architectural accents found on the facade and side elevations is absent from the rear elevation.  As they do on the facade, the side wings extend back beyond the rear elevation of the three-story principal section.  A shallow wing extends from the center of the rear elevation containing and elevator shaft.  Dual metal stairway, perhaps fire escapes, extend from the rear of building.