Historic Hyde Park represents the collaboration between the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum and the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National based in Hyde Park, New York. Each has a unique mission, but they are united in their dedication to extending the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt to new generations.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum
The FDR Library is one of our nation’s thirteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Designed by FDR himself, it is the first presidential library and the only one ever used by a sitting president.
This is an exciting time at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum. It is undergoing a major renovation — the first renovation since the building opened to the public in 1941 — bringing the Library’s infrastructure up to National Archives standards for the preservation of historic collections and installing a new permament exhibition. From May 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 — while the permanent galleries are closed for the final stage of the renovation — visitors will enjoy our exciting new photography and multimedia exhibition, “The Roosevelts: Public Figures, Private Lives.”
The Roosevelt Library archive is the premier research center in the world for study and research of the Roosevelt era. It contains more than 17 million pages of documents, photographs, books, and audiovisual materials, including the papers of President and Mrs. Roosevelt and more than 375 of their associates.
The FDR Library also operates the Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center, which serves all visitors to the Roosevelt site with its orientation exhibits and film, visitor amenities, conference and education facilities, The New Deal Store which is open daily, and Mrs. Nesbitt’s Café, which is open April 1 through mid-November.
The Library’s Digital Archive, created in partnership with Marist College, contains more than 15,000 digitized archival documents, public domain photographs, and finding aids. The museum is open daily. Admission is charged.
For further information visit the Library website or contact the Library at 1-800-FDR-VISIT.
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
The National Park Service administers the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Roosevelt’s Top Cottage retreat, and the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site at Val-Kill. President Roosevelt bequeathed his 35-room home, Springwood and much of his Hudson River property to the federal government as a gift to the American people in 1945. Eleanor Roosevelt’s home at Val-Kill, where she lived from 1945 until her death in 1962, opened in 1984 as the first National Historic Site dedicated to a First Lady. The combined Roosevelt historic sites comprise more than 800 acres of the original 1500-acre family estate.
• Guided tours and educational programs are conducted daily at Springwood.
• Guided tours and educational programs daily at Val-Kill May through June, and Thursday through Monday the rest of the year.
• Tours of Top Cottage depart from the Home of FDR Thursday through Sunday, May through October.
• The extensive grounds include walking trails and the Rose Garden where the President and Mrs. Roosevelt are buried.
• A fee is charged for tours of the historic buildings.
• Access to the property is available dawn to dusk at no charge.
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
The National Park Service also administers the Vanderbilt Mansion, designated a National Historic Site by Act of Congress in 1939 and recognized by President Roosevelt as one of the oldest and best preserved country places in the Northern United States. Several prominent architects, landscape designers and interior decorators designed the estate for Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt. The grounds include formal gardens, specimen trees and stunning views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. Tours are offered daily.
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, historically known as Hyde Park, is one of the oldest and most venerable Hudson River estates. For nearly two centuries, this place has been home to socially prominent New Yorkers. Frederick Vanderbilt purchased the property in 1895 and hired the architects McKim, Mead & White to design a new house of exceptional quality. Today, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site remains one of the nation’s premier monuments of the Gilded Age.
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
Val-Kill commemorates the life and work of an outstanding woman in American history and the issues to which she was devoted.Eleanor Roosevelt accomplished so much: First Lady for twelve years, a champion of Human Rights, a skilled diplomat and a prolific writer. But even “the First Lady of the World” has to have some down time. And Val-Kill, her country retreat in Hyde Park, New York is the place that Mrs. Roosevelt called “home.”
Because Eleanor had never had a home of her own, and because this beautiful spot was where the Roosevelt family came to picnic and enjoy themselves, it was the place where FDR built her “a home of her own.” Here too, she enjoyed both privacy and socializing, inviting her own guests, including world figures such as John F. Kennedy and Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev, away from the formality of Springwood, the Roosevelt family home.
You can’t help but be affected by Eleanor Roosevelt’s story through your visit to Val-Kill. There is a wonderful orientation film and a Ranger-guided tour that brings you closer to this remarkable woman. If you would like to experience the active life that she enjoyed here, consider building your trip around some good hikes. From Val-Kill you can hike up the hill to Top Cottage, FDR’s own personal retreat, or you take the recently restored Roosevelt Farm Lane trail to the Home of FDR National Historic Site and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
For further information visit the websites for the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site at Val-Kill and the Vanderbilt Mansion or contact the National Park Service at 1-800-FDR-VISIT.