“All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson River” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Located on the edge of the Hudson River in Dutchess County, New York, the lifelong home of President Franklin D. Roosevelt is open to the public as a National Historic Site.
From his birth to his political life, and until his death, the Springwood Estate housed the 32nd President of the United States in addition to his family. Springwood provided a refuge for the worst of times, as well as a venue for the best. On Election Day, Roosevelt and his associates would anxiously await the results within his home prior to delivering his victory speech. He was the first and last President of the United States to be elected four times.
Planning a Visit
Complete with its original furnishings, Springwood takes visitors back to the early 20th century. The days of The Great Depression and the Second World War are preserved within. A visit to Springwood can last from a couple of hours to an entire day. The grounds are open every day from sunrise to sunset except on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day. Self-guided tours of the grounds, library, and museum are completely free.
The Henry A. Wallace Visitor Center would typically be your first stop. Located in the parking lot, you may receive information on getting around the estate and purchasing tour tickets. A guided tour costs $18 for a joint admission ticket. This is the only way to see the FDR house from the inside. On your way out, consider stopping at the New Deal gift shop. Pick up a good book, apparel, “FDR for President” campaign buttons and various other merchandise.
If you plan on roaming the grounds on your own, find your way to the Rose Garden. This is Franklin and Eleanor’s resting place. It is a quiet, peaceful garden filled with a variety of hedges, roses, and other flora. A simple white marble monument stands near the sundial. Roosevelt’s grave is closest to the monument, marked with the American flag.
Follow the path out of the garden and you will find the home shortly after. Only paid, guided tours are allowed in, but you are certainly able to see the house from the outside. Witness the beauty of the valley and mountains in the background. You are likely to fall in love with the property as FDR had throughout his life.
Numerous smaller buildings are located throughout the estate. The horses’ stable is complete with its original saddles and tools. Perhaps one of Roosevelt’s most cherished horses went by the name of “New Deal”, named after his set of economic policies.
If you would like a guided tour of the home, tickets are available for $18 from the visitor center. Tours run from 9am-5pm and typically last an hour. Explore the 18 rooms and imagine yourself walking in the footsteps of a United States President, his family, in addition to multiple world leaders. King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and Winston Churchill are just a few of the leaders and public figures whom Springwood hosted. Springwood was also a campaign site for President John F. Kennedy in 1960.
Roosevelt loved to collect books, artwork, models, and numerous other bits of memorabilia throughout his life. He made renovations to suit his domestic needs including expanding the home and installing an elevator as a result of his battle with polio.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first President to donate his archives to the government for public display. Therefore, the FDR library was consequently the first Presidential library. As a result of his contributions, the archives include nearly 50 million pieces of historical artifacts in film, photography, and writing.
Visiting Hyde Park
Visiting Springwood can probably become a day-long trip as a result of its historic significance. Though you may not spend the whole day within the grounds, Hyde Park and neighboring Poughkeepsie offer a number of places to eat, drink, and visit other attractions.
The Eveready Diner on Rt. 9 North is a quick place to sit down and eat or take it to go. For many, dining at Eveready has been a long-time tradition with visiting the area. Hyde Park Brewing Company is located just across the street from the FDR house. It is an average American-style restaurant and pub, also a popular destination for Hyde Park visitors.
The Eleanor Roosevelt Center is on Val-Kill Park Rd. for those interested in learning more about our longest-serving First Lady. The Eleanor Roosevelt grounds offer guided tours only. In summary, however you plan to spend your day at Springwood will be a trip to remember.