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.
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.
The Roosevelt Home:
The FDR Presidential Library:
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.