Spotlight: FDR Presidential Library and Museum

The Roosevelt Home.

In October of 1929 Wall Street had the single worst day known as “Black Tuesday”. This event catapulted the U.S. in to the ten year Great Depression. In 1932 the United States had decided that it was time for a change and elected Franklin D Roosevelt. Little did they know but this man would be at the helm of our country for an unprecedented 12 years and through two of its most trying times. FDR made bold strokes and he wasted little time doing so.

Hyde Park, New York in the picturesque Hudson River Valley is the setting for both FDR’s childhood and his presidential library. FDR received the first presidential library and is the only sitting president to use it while in office. Its constructing began in 1939 and was finished in 1940 and was supervised by FDR himself. He even had a working office in the library that he used for his day to day duties as the president.

Panorama of the backyard of the Roosevelt Estate looking towards the Hudson River.

Panorama of the backyard of the Roosevelt Estate looking towards the Hudson River.

The visitor center is the first thing to greet people interested in learning about FDR. Visiting the grounds is free from sunrise to sunset, if you would like to visit the library, museum and home of FDR or any combination of these a ticket will be required. The National Park Service runs the facility and a ranger will lead you on a tour of the home if you choose to visit it. The museum and library are self-guided and tickets for those are good for two days. As you would expect the home is centered more around FDR the person and the library is geared towards his presidency. There is a cafe in the visitors center if you should want a snack while at the park.

Maynard enjoying the sunshine with Franklin and Eleanor.

Maynard enjoying the sunshine with Franklin and Eleanor.

The Roosevelt Home:
The Roosevelt Home from the rear and side.

The Roosevelt Home from the rear and side.

The Entry Hall, FDR Home.

The Entry Hall, FDR Home.

The Parlor with one of the first TV\'s in the left corner.

The Parlor with one of the first TV’s in the left corner.

FDR's Library.

FDR’s Library.

One of FDR's wheelchairs in a hand pulley operated elevator.

One of FDR’s wheelchairs in a hand pulley operated elevator.

Franklin's Childhood Room.

Franklin’s Childhood Room.

FDR's Bedroom with chair for Fala the dog.

FDR’s Bedroom with chair for Fala the dog. (Panorama)

Franklin, Eleanor and Fala's grave sites.

Franklin, Eleanor and Fala’s grave sites.

The FDR Presidential Library:
FDR bust in front of the Presidential Library.

FDR bust in front of the Presidential Library.

FDR campaign pins.

FDR campaign pins.

Glinda at a depression era exhibit in the library.

Glinda at a depression era exhibit in the library.

FDR library display.

FDR library display.

FDR's iconic hat.

FDR’s iconic hat.

FDR's working office inside his presidential library.

FDR’s working office inside his presidential library.

An FDR designed wheelchair.

An FDR designed wheelchair.

Pictures of Fala in Roosevelt\'s office.

Pictures of Fala in Roosevelt’s office.

FDR's car that had special controls so that it could be driven all by hand.

FDR’s car that had special controls so that it could be driven all by hand.

Closeup of FDR's hand controls and lit cigarette dispenser.

Closeup of FDR’s hand controls and lit cigarette dispenser.

Logistics:

The Roosevelt Home guided tour takes 60 minutes and you should definitely pre-book your timed ticket prior to arrival here. The Presidential Library is self-guided and will take 60-90 minutes. The National Park Service website is here and the Presidential Library’s website is here for additional information on the seasonal hours. You can also take tours of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill home and the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, but I strongly recommend you get your tickets ahead of time; there are fewer tours and fill up very quickly. Hyde Park is roughly a two hour drive from New York City or if needed can be reached by train to Poughkeepsie and then taxi to the park. Train websites: Metro North Railroad and Amtrak.

"Love Shadow" at FDR Presidential Library.

“Love Shadow” at FDR Presidential Library.

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