Located in Oyster Bay, New York, the Sagamore Hill National Park is commonly known as The Summer White House because it is where President Theodore Roosevelt lived during the summers of his time in office. The location is now a historical preservation site which aims to educate visitors about the life and legacy of the 26th President of the United States of America.
The Vanderbilt Museum was officially opened to the public in 1950 by the State of New York upon the death of its founder and namesake, Willie Vanderbilt.
Willie was huge fan of the ocean and everything related to it, including boating, fish, and other marine life. After he spent many years traveling the sea and collecting thousands of items, he started his own personal museum in his own on Long Island.
The museum was called The Hall of Fishes and he opened it to the public in 1922. The museum continued to expand throughout his 43-acre estate along the Long Island waterfront and eventually grew to a total of 30,000 objects.
It now includes the mansion filled with thousands of historical and cultural artifacts including antique furniture, rare decorations, archives, photographs, books, and fine artwork. There is also a curator’s cottage, a boathouse, seaplane hangar, and a planetarium with a surround park.
Currently, the Museum welcomes thousands of visitors each year and hosts a large variety of educational programs and exciting events.
The 24-room woodland estate of Willie Vanderbilt features distinct architecture, elegant décor, and fantastic ironwork. The estate is on more than 43 acres along the waterfront of Long Island. The mansion allows visitors to experience the privilege life that many wealthy individuals led during the Jazz Age.
The rooms are filled with priceless furniture, artwork, collectables, and personal belongings. Visitors can take a walking tour through the living-museum and see these priceless pieces up close and personal.
The Museum & Exhibits:
The Museum features the vast collection of Willie Vanderbilt which he gathered while he navigated oceans all around the globe. He found items from the Galapagos, the Pacific Islands, Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa, the Atlantic and the Caribbean.
There are thousands of specimens of bird, insect, and marine life, including some fascinating new discoveries. There are also many items such as weapons, clothing, ceremonial artifacts, and clothing from various cultures around the world. Vanderbilt collaborated with William Belanske from the American Museum of Natural History to create educational dioramas and exhibits. In fact, the world’s largest display fish, a 32-foot wale shark, is in the museum.
This educational theater features fun programs for members of the entire family underneath a newly renovated 60-foot dome. There are seasonal shows and special shows for children, adults and families. Visitors can also examine the universe with the reflecting telescope.
Mid-Summer Dance Nights: This recurring event occurs weekly on Thursday evenings at the Vanderbilt Museum throughout the summer. Guests can show of their dance moves or learn new steps with instructor Alfred Pena.
Vanderbilt Lobster Fest: On July 22, 2017 from 6 – 10 p.m., the Vanderbilt Museum will be hosting its 6th annual fund-raising event – the Summer Lobster Festival. All proceeds will go to maintain the Museum and its programs. Ticket prices range between $115 and $125.
Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra: On August 4, 2017, the Vanderbilt Museum will host an evening of romance complete with live music and dancing. This is the 11th annual show by Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra, Spicy Sounds for a Hot Night. The performance starts at 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online.
Willie Vanderbilt always wanted his estate to be used for educational purposes and to share his passion for the sea. The Vanderbilt Museum does just that. It focuses on a variety of history, culture, and environment educational programs for children and adults of all ages. The programs are offered year-round and include interactive workshops and hands-on activities to ensure that learning is fun!
Children can attend longer, more specialized programs on school breaks which are cohesive with the standards of the New York State curriculum. They will make exciting art projects like seashell windchimes, animal masks, watercolor paintings, and paper sculptures. A variety of science, nature, and astronomy programs are also available.
Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, New York 11721, website, Phone: 631-854-5579