Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park

#4 of 10 in Things to do in Hyde Park
Historic Site · Tourist Spot
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site was established by the U.S. Congress to commemorate the life and accomplishments of Eleanor Roosevelt. Once part of the larger Roosevelt family estate in Hyde Park, New York, today the property includes the 181 acres (73 ha), buildings and other historic features that Eleanor Roosevelt called Val-Kill. It is located approximately two miles east of Springwood, the Franklin D. Roosevelt home. It is a few hundred feet east of New York State Route 9G, along which runs the Dutchess County bus route C to Tivoli.

Eleanor Roosevelt created and shared Val-Kill with her friends Nancy Cook and Marion Dickerman. At Val-Kill, they established Val-Kill Industries to employ local farming families in handcraft traditions. The Roosevelts frequently used Val-Kill's relaxed setting for entertaining family, friends, political associates, and world leaders. Nancy and Marion sold their interest in the property to Eleanor and moved to Connecticut shortly after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. Val-Kill then became Eleanor Roosevelt's primary residence and the place most associated with her. After her death, Val-Kill was converted into rental units and later sold to developers. A public campaign ensued to save Val-Kill and it was declared a National Historic Site in 1977. It is now managed by the National Park Service.

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Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site reviews

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722 reviews
  • Beautiful grounds, easy to see why she loved it there. Small museum was informative, but would have liked to tour the house of this amazing woman.  more »
  • Neither of us really knew that Eleanor Roosevelt had a retreat in the Hyde Park area where she could get away from some of the goings-on over at the Mansion. It's really a lovely setting and the...  more »
  • It was a very beautiful estate. I recommend visiting the FDR estate first and also the Vanderbilt Estate. They're all beautiful! The tour guide made it interesting at each place.
  • We didn't pay for the tour of the whole grounds (only because we didn't have time--it lasts an hour) but the cottage is open for free and has tons of historic materials and displays, basically a mini-museum. The park ranger was also fantastic. And the grounds are very pretty.

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