Located in Hyde Park, New York, Vanderbilt Mansion is one of the oldest estates in the area. Between its gorgeous architecture and unique history, Vanderbilt Mansion should be on everyone’s list for top attractions to see in the Hudson Valley.


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The earliest origin of Vanderbilt Mansion dates back to 1764. In that year, Dr. John Bard purchased the land where the Vanderbilt Mansion currently sits. Bard built his home, known as Red House, near the eastern area of the overall property. Bard also created and maintained the agricultural significance of the land. From 1799 to 1821, the property was under the supervision of John’s son, Samuel.

The land stayed in the Bard family until 1828. That year, the president of the New York Horticultural Society, Dr. David Hosack, purchased the land and worked alongside Andre Parmentier to bring a new era to the land. Almost twenty years later, John Jacob Astor purchased the land as a gift to Dorothea, his daughter, and her family.

Dorothea Langdon’s family owned the property until May 1895, when Frederick W. and Louise Vanderbilt purchased it. The Vanderbilt family purchased the estate with the intent to use it as a vacation home, as it was along the Hudson River and was located in close proximity to their New York Central Railroad.

When Frederick passed away in 1938, the estate was granted to his niece, Margaret “Daisy” Van Alen. President Franklin D. Roosevelt neighbored the estate, and urged Van Alen to donate the property to the National Park Service. Two years after Vanderbilt’s death, Van Alen donated the estate to the National Park Service.

Preisdent Roosevelt used parts of the home for the Secret Service, staff, and friends throughout 1941 to 1943. Since then, Vanderbilt Mansion has been open to the public.

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There are two main attractions at Vanderbilt Mansion: the home and the gardens. To maintain the charm and surprise of Vanderbilt Mansion, there are not a lot of details about the interior design of the Mansion available. In order to give you an idea of the details of Vanderbilt Mansion, you can expect to explore:

· North and South Foyers

· Halls, notably the Elliptical Hall

· Dining Room

· Living Room

· Lobby

· Den

· Gold Room

· Lavatory

· Bedroom, boudoir, and bathroom that Mrs. Vanderbilt used.

· Bedroom and bathroom that Mr. Vanderbilt used.

· Guest bedrooms and bathrooms

· Linen room

· Servants’ Hall

· Italian inspired gardens

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3.Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities
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Vanderbilt Mansion offers a variety of educational opportunities for the general public. The interesting thing about the educational opportunities at Vanderbilt Mansion is the array of programs for educators and students.

One of the most popular educational programs at Vanderbilt Mansion is the field trip program. During a standard field trip, a school will have the opportunity to explore Vanderbilt Mansion and get a behind the scenes glimpse into the daily operations of Vanderbilt Mansion, and what life was like when the Vanderbilt family lived in the Mansion. Tour guides will attempt to incorporate as much information as possible about the Gilded Age. Thus, students will be able to connect the curriculum they learn in the classroom to what they learn at Vanderbilt Mansion. For more information about field trips at Vanderbilt Mansion, contact Kevin Thomas at 845-486-7751.

Parks as Classrooms is one of the few educational opportunities for educators. The employees at Vanderbilt Mansion and the National Park Service understand the true importance of education, especially the importance of teaching and understanding history. That’s why Vanderbilt Mansion has an array of resources for educators to use to get their students excited about history, especially the Gilded Age. As a part of Parks as Classrooms, Vanderbilt Mansion has worked alongside the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places to create a variety of comprehensive lesson plans. These lesson plans are divided among theme, time period, and age level. Each lesson plan adheres to curriculum objects, as well as provides new insight and context into the materials.

For more information about field trips, Parks as Classrooms, and any other educational opportunity at Vanderbilt Mansion, head over to the landmark’s official website, or contact or visit them during their hours of operation.

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4.Special Events

Special Events
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Vanderbilt Mansion regularly hosts special events throughout the year. Since the special events are continuously changing, be sure to check Vanderbilt Mansion’s official online calendar. Here is a glimpse of a few of the most anticipated special events at Vanderbilt Mansion:

· 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count from February 17 to February 20, 2017.

· Every Kid in a Park Welcomes 4th Graders until August 31, 2017

Back to: the Things to Do in the Hudson Valley

119 Vanderbilt Park Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538, Phone: 845-229-9115

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Things to Do in the Hudson Valley, New York: Vanderbilt Mansion

  • History, Photo: Courtesy of niniferrari - Fotolia.com
  • Attractions, Photo: Courtesy of lightningboldt - Fotolia.com
  • Educational Opportunities, Photo: Courtesy of Foap.com - Fotolia.com
  • Special Events, Photo: Courtesy of Foap.com - Fotolia.com
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of niniferrari - Fotolia.com