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Statement on The Murphy House

The Nemours Foundation commences demolition of property

Saturday, Dec 31, 2011

Delaware Valley

The Murphy House

Starting in late summer 2010, after a thorough analysis of the feasibility of rehabilitating and re-using The Murphy House, The Nemours Foundation determined that such efforts would not be financially feasible for the property located at 1601 Rockland Road.

Subsequently, Nemours proceeded through the public process for obtaining the necessary approvals from the county to demolish the property. As part of this process, Nemours advertised a request for proposals from those interested in relocating The Murphy House. The advertisements ran for a period of three months, however no proposals were received.

In August 2011, following inquiries from interested individuals and meetings with federal and state officials, Nemours, again for a period of three months, advertised seeking requests for proposals from qualified organizations or individuals who could present an acceptable plan for relocation or re-use of The Murphy House. Additionally, Nemours offered $50,000 to a successful tax-exempt applicant to help offset the costs associated with relocating or reusing the property.

Only one proposal was received from a consortium of non-profit groups and individuals led by Delaware Greenways, Inc., proposing the rehabilitation of the structure for the storage and rental of bicycles to be used on the greenway trails in the area.

Following an extensive review of the proposal, The Nemours Foundation concluded that the proposal did not make a credible case as to the organization’s ability to successfully carry out the project described in the proposal.

Specifically, the proposal:
  • required the property be rezoned to a commercial zoning classification
  • provided no plan for how to obtain access to the property considering that a denial of access exists along Rockland Road and Children’s Drive
  • lacked details regarding the role of each project partner or their abilities and experience with respect to the project contemplated by the proposal
  • failed to demonstrate that adequate construction and engineering reviews had been performed to determine the extent of rehabilitation work that would be required to meet building code provisions and the Fire Marshal’s requirements
  • understated the estimated costs to complete the rehabilitation work and proposed no specific plan for how to obtain the funds needed to address either the rehabilitation costs or the ongoing maintenance costs for the property

In the absence of a proposal that thoroughly addresses the issues associated with the rehabilitation and re-use of The Murphy House, including a plan for raising the money needed to proceed with the project as well as the long-term maintenance of the property, The Nemours Foundation commenced demolition of the property on Dec. 30, 2011.


About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens,, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.