22. Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site in Hyde Park
The Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site next to FDR‘s Hyde Park is a 54-room Vanderbilt mansion designed by McKim, Mead & White for Frederick William Vanderbilt and his wife Louise Holmes Anthony. Frederick was a director of the New York Central Railroad for 61 years and also directed the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad and the Chicago and North Western Railroad. Built between 1896 and 1899, the Beaux-Arts mansion is situated on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River.
The home’s interiors exemplify American Renaissance style, with hints at antiquity and European design elements. The home was supported by concrete and steel, which was considered modern for the time. The Italian-style garden was perfectly mirrored, while the interior space was exquisitely spacious and luxurious. It was often considered one of the finest estates between New York City and Albany. Their niece, Margaret “Daisy” Van Alen, inherited the property when Frederick died in 1938, and she donated a portion of the estate to the National Park Service with encouragement from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. From 1941 to 1943, Roosevelt’s Secret Service was housed in the basement and third floor of the estate.