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Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site


Franklin D. Roosevelt was born into the luxurious surroundings of Hyde Park on January 30, 1882. He grew up here in the family home, returned here to raise his own children, and is buried here, with his wife Eleanor, under a simple monument in the rose garden. It is now the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site.

Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
© National Park Service
The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Park is a 35-room mansion
in which FDR was raised. Presidential business was often conducted here.

Roosevelt was an immensely popular President, and this house is filled with the history of his lengthy political career. The 35-room mansion was just a large farmhouse when FDR's father bought it in 1867, but they slowly turned it into something much grander. The family added wings and a tower, and replaced the clapboard siding with stucco and fieldstone.

Roosevelt used the house as his election headquarters, greeting well-wishers from the terrace on four consecutive election nights. In the first-floor office, he often conducted the business of the presidency. It was here, in 1942, that Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed the historic agreement that led to the creation of the atomic bomb. The casual living room was the setting for several of his "fireside chats." In the main hall are his boyhood collection of stuffed birds and a bronze sculpture of him in 1911 when he was serving his first term in the New York State Senate.

Upstairs is Roosevelt's bedroom, his favorite room in the house; the Birth Room, with the bed in which he was born; and his Boyhood Bedroom, later used by each of his sons.

The nearby presidential library and museum displays a collection of items that details Roosevelt's long tenure as President, from the Great Depression to World War II and the development of the atomic bomb. The collection includes Roosevelt's model boats and naval prints, more than 15 million pages of historic documents, and his desk from the White House, complete with his favorite pipes and knickknacks.

Among the papers displayed here are his "Day of Infamy" message to Congress declaring war against Japan, as well as a letter from Albert Einstein about the atomic bomb.

Roosevelt had a lifelong interest in nature, and he planted many varieties of trees on the grounds, eventually turning sections into an experimental forestry station. As President, he set up the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was responsible for the development and maintenance of many of the country's public parks and forests.

Overcoming Adversity

In 1921, at the age of 39, Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio, which left him unable to walk and almost cut short his political career. With the support of Eleanor, FDR labored through years of physical therapy.

Eleanor, shy by nature, worked to keep his political career alive by writing letters, meeting with people, and traveling around the world. She became her husband's eyes and ears in the places he could no longer go.

Roosevelt reclaimed the political spotlight in 1924 with his memorable nominating speech for Al Smith at the Democratic national convention. In 1933, he became the thirty-second President of the United States.

Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site Information

Address: 4097 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538
Telephone: 800/337-8474
Hours of Operation: Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
Admission: 2-Day Ticket $14; Ages 15 and Under are Free

Learn more about these other national historic sites:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Peterson is a Denver-based freelance writer who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.