Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s (FDR) house in Hyde Park, NY is not nearly as full of strange artifacts as that of Teddy Roosevelt, the home of his 5th cousin. The home and history are, nonetheless, just as fascinating.
FDR was a collector, he collected birds, naval scenes, prints, political cartoons, stamps, prints and more. His library was built to accommodate his collections, being surrounded by many books and manuscripts.
The 32nd President was instrumental in handing over his home in Hyde Park, NY to the National Park Service, and as a result, he had a large say in what was going to be displayed to the public. The room includes many artifacts of FDR and his mother, Sara, including a replica of a statue she got in the Louvre.
The library has coins, political memorabilia, and hidden cabinets which old collection of Teddy Roosevelt books. A removable ramp leads to the library, which will be taken away if visitors were not aware of FDR’s disability.
The rest of the home is just as fascinating, including a man-powered elevator that brought FDR to the second floor (he was afraid of fire and didn’t want to be stuck in a small, wooden box if an electrical engine malfunctions). To his immense credit, FDR pulled himself up every time, while his legs withered away, he must have had an immense upper body strength.
The ground are beautiful, and the views of the Hudson Valley are certainly worth a moment of introspection. The Presidential library is also on the grounds (as well as FDR and Eleanor’s grave), but you need to make an appointment to get in.
Zohar – Man of la Book