What is the name of FDR's home in Hyde Park , New York ?
FDR's home in Hyde Park, New York, is officially named "Springwood," but the Roosevelts always referred to the site simply as "Hyde Park" or "The Big House."
The home was originally built in 1826 and was purchased by FDR's father James Roosevelt in 1867.
FDR was born at Springwood on January 30, 1882. Originally a gray clapboard building, the house was extensively remodeled in 1916 to add two full wings, a portico, and exterior stucco. Although the house belonged to his mother until her death in 1941, Springwood was FDR's principal residence throughout his life. FDR last visited Springwood in March 1945 and was buried in the rose garden adjacent to the house after his death on April 12, 1945.
The 33.23 acre site in Hyde Park, New York that included Springwood, its outbuildings, and the rose garden was opened to the public a year later.
Eleanor Roosevelt was buried in the rose garden next to FDR following her death in 1962.
Springwood is managed by the National Park Service as part of the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, the nation's first presidential library, was built under FDR's direction on 16 acres of the Springwood estate that were donated to the U.S. Government. The Library is managed by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Where did Eleanor live?
Eleanor Roosevelt never felt comfortable at Springwood because FDR's mother Sara continued to live there and to oversee the day-to-day operations of the house. In 1924, FDR granted to Eleanor and to two of her close friends, Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, a life interest in a piece of property known as "Val-Kill" (Dutch for "valley stream") located about a mile from the Springwood estate.
The three women built a small house called the "Stone Cottage" to be used by Dickerman and Cook and later built a furniture factory known as Val-Kill Industries. After the factory closed in 1936, Eleanor converted it into a cottage for herself that she used as a weekend or vacation get-away during the remaining White House years.
Following FDR's death in 1945, Eleanor used the factory as her permanent home until her death in 1962, and she always felt that Val-Kill was the only place that she could truly call her own. The Val-Kill property was acquired by the US Government in 1977 and now is managed by the National Park Service as part of the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites.
Did FDR have a private retreat in Hyde Park ?
During his presidency, FDR felt that the Roosevelt home in Hyde Park was too busy with people and telephones for him to relax or to have any privacy. In 1939, FDR designed and built a stone cottage on a piece of property he acquired a few miles east of Springwood. The cottage was built on top of Dutchess Hill overlooking the Hudson River Valley, and as a result it was called "Top Cottage."
In his initial design, FDR incorporated elements that made Top Cottage fully accessible to him while in his wheelchair, including ramps, wider doors and hallways, ground floor living and bedroom spaces, and lower windows.
FDR used the retreat for entertaining and for official meetings that required more privacy than could be obtained at the White House or at Springwood. Shortly after Top Cottage was completed, FDR hosted the famous "hot dog picnic" for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain.
Although the property was sold to private owners after FDR's death, Top Cottage was restored and donated to the U.S. Government in 2001. It now is managed by the National Park Service as part of the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites.
What was Campobello?
Campobello is an island located in the Passamaquoddy Bay near the Maine/Canada border and is part of New Brunswick, Canada.
FDR's parents first visited Campobello in 1883 and soon bought several acres and a small cottage on the island's southeastern end. The family became regular visitors, and as a youth FDR spent his summer months in a variety of outdoor activities, particularly sailing. After Franklin's marriage to Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905, the young couple inherited a neighboring cottage.
After marrying Eleanor, FDR's involvement in politics often limited his visits to the island to just a few days a year. In 1921, FDR and his young family traveled to Campobello to spend the summer following his long and unsuccessful campaign for the vice presidency. After a day filled with sailing, swimming, jogging, and helping to put out a forest fire, FDR became feverish and grew weak in his legs. He was diagnosed with infantile paralysis, or polio, a few weeks later. Although his polio treatments and political career prevented FDR's return to Campobello for more than a decade, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Roosevelt children visited often. FDR again visited the island as President in 1933, 1936, and 1939.
The Roosevelt cottage and grounds now are part of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park that is managed by a joint United States and Canadian commission.
Why was there a "Little White House" in Warm Springs, Georgia?
FDR was stricken with polio in 1921 while vacationing at Campobello. He soon began seeking out treatments that he hoped would help him walk again. In 1924, a friend suggested that FDR visit an old resort built around mineral springs. The resort in Warm Springs, Georgia was dilapidated, but FDR was delighted that he was able to walk while immersed in the buoyant waters. After several years of treatments and exercise, FDR taught himself to stand and to take a few haltering steps using steel leg braces and some personal assistance. However FDR never recovered sufficient strength in his atrophied muscles to stand or walk again unassisted.
In 1926, FDR purchased the resort in order to convert it into a treatment center for polio victims, and a year later he established the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation which then acquired both the resort and surrounding farmland.
FDR accepted the nomination for New York governor from his cottage at Warm Springs, and during his presidency he used the cottage regularly as a place to continue his recovery and as a retreat from Washington, DC. Because many associates accompanied FDR to help him carry on the affairs of state, his cottage at Warm Springs became known as the "Little White House."
FDR died at Warm Springs on April 12, 1945.
The Little White House State Historic Site is open to the public and is managed by the Georgia State Department of National Resources.