A New Deal in Hyde Park

A New Deal in Hyde Park

We rarely have weekdays off together, so when they do happen like on Veteran’s Day, we try to make the most of them. This year, we went out to the Hudson River Valley to make a visit to the Home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Presidential Library.

entrance-to-home-of-fdr

Usually it costs $18.00 per person to visit both of the buildings, but because of the holiday, there was no charge to get into the National Park Service site.  Getting both sites for $18 total was a great deal and they were totally worth the full price.

Unemployment in the 1920s

We got a wicked late start but luckily the 3 ½ hour drive was rather pretty and empty. Our luck continued at the site when we were able to slip onto the 2 pm tour and have enough time beforehand to go through the Library.

fdr-library-globe

There are currently 13 Presidential Libraries throughout the United States.  The first ones built were for Presidents Roosevelt and Harry Truman, but FDR’s was the first opened to the public. These libraries would hold the papers and documents created by the President during their terms and also the gifts that they were given during their time in office.

 

fdr-four-freedomsThroughout the museum, artifacts related to major events during FDR’s life and presidency are on display. These are a few of my favorite parts:

glass-from-british-house-of-commons-fdr-1941
Glass from the Blitzed British House of Commons.
fdr-library-war
The beginning of World War II

 

fdr-hair-lock-and-toys
A lock of FDR’s hair and some toys found on the property

 

eleanor-roosevelt-fbi-file
Eleanor Roosevelt’s FBI file, it was pretty long and this is only a section of it!

We made it back to the Visitor Center in time for our tour of the property and house.

fdr-home-tour

Inside the VC, we met at one of the coolest floors I had ever seen: a mosaic of the property and local area. Who wouldn’t love to have something like this in their home?

fdr-floor-mosaic

We then were guided to the outside of the library and final resting place of FDR, Eleanor (whose real first name is Anna!), and two of their dogs on our way to the house. Adorning the outside is the Presidential Flag that FDR created himself.

fdr-home

Inside we were able to roam the first floor after a short talk and then were allowed upstairs in two different groups. Perhaps the most poignant item on display in the house is FDR’s elevator. He was supposedly scared of fire and refused to allow an engine driven elevator to be installed. Instead, he pulled himself up and down from the different floors using ropes. Definitely a testimony to his stubborn nature!

fdr-elevator-ropes

 

fdrs-bedroom-springwood
FDR’s bedroom at Springwood with a dedicated line to Washington, DC

If you are in the area, this is a great stop to make. FDR created so many things during his Presidency that still have an affect on us today. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop on your way out of the Visitor Center…there are some really fun things to buy as souveniers. 

fdr-gift-shop-gifts

There are a number of other places in the area to visit after you are done with the home and library.  Consider making a weekend of it and get your nerd on!
Other Cool Sites in the Area:

resting-place-of-fdr-elr

Things to Know Before You Go:

  1. You must go on a guided tour to go into the house, but can do the library separately.
  2. There is ample free parking at the site, which is great.
  3. Uncle Sam’s Canteen serves lunch, coffee, and snacks at the Visitor Center but is only open from April 1 to October 31, so bring food with you if you visit from November to March.
  4. Dogs are allowed on the property, but not inside the buildings.
  5. Plan ahead by checking their website: https://www.nps.gov/hofr/index.htm

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fdr-in-hyde-park

15 thoughts on “A New Deal in Hyde Park

  1. An interesting and fun way to spend Veterans Day. A lot of history there and would love to see Eleanor’s FBI file. But thinking you are not actually allowed to read any of it.

    1. They actually have photocopied and laminated pieces of her files in that cabinet! There are parts of FBI files that are declassified, but some will never be.

    1. I loved it! They sell little copies of it in the gift shop.

      One of his nicknames was “the sphinx” because he wouldn’t confirm if he was running again. So the press corp made this paper mache version of him for the WH Press Correspondents Dinner. Its amazing. I want a full sized one for my office.

    1. It really was. I knew a bit about him, but definitely learned more. Need to go back to visit Eleanor’s house later.

    1. I would love to live in any of the rooms of his house! Though his bedroom had some amazing views of the valley. Must be good to be rich 😉

  2. I met with their tourism board in Grapevine at a conference this summer. I cannot wait to visit this area. Thanks for the appetizer. 😉 I want to visit the Culinary Institute, too. Love FDR!

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